Janey L. Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Paul Austin Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology
Co-Director, Glaucoma Center of Excellence
Associate Director, Ocular Genomics Institute

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Associate Director, Howe Laboratory
Associate Chief Ophthalmology Clinical Research
Senior Scientist

Research Summary

Center/Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Wiggs studies genetic risk factors for various types of glaucoma. She is the principal investigator of the NIH funded NEIGHBORHOOD consortium as well as an NIH-funded study to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for exfoliation syndrome and exfoliation glaucoma. She recently was awarded an NIH grant to study genetic risk factors associated with loss of central vision in glaucoma. Other ongoing studies in the laboratory includethe identification of genes contributing to early-onset forms of glaucoma (congenital, juvenile and developmental glaucoma) as well as pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma and the identification of genes that contribute to ocular quantitative traits using a cohort of consanguineous families from India.

Current Projects

The Wiggs laboratory works on the identification of genetic factors that predispose to both mendelian and complex forms glaucoma. The identification of genes that can cause glaucoma will provide critical information regarding the biology of the disease as well as provide the basis for accurate methods of diagnosis and new and specific therapies. Current investigations are focused on the genetic etiologies of adult onset primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma, glaucoma associated with Rieger syndrome and other anterior segment dysgenesis syndromes and juvenile open angle glaucoma. As part of these studies the laboratory has developed a registry of over 2,000 early and adult onset glaucoma patients. Dr. Wiggs has been continuously funded from the National Eye Institute for over 15 years. In addition to current R01 and R21 funding, she is a member of the NEI supported eyeGENE genotyping project for inherited ocular diseases.


1976: B.A., Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley

1981: Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley

1985: M.D., Harvard Medical School

Postgraduate Training

1987: Fellowship, Molecular Genetics, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

1990: Residency, Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

1991: Fellowship, Molecular Genetics, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

1992: Fellowship, Glaucoma, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

1996: Fellowship, Medical Genetics, Tufts Medical School

Academic Appointments

2015-present: Paul Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

2012-2015: Paul Austin Chandler Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

2005-2011: Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

2001-2005: Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

1993-2001: Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Genetics, Tufts Medical School

1992-1993: Instructor in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School


Selected Publications

For a full list, please see her CV.

Hypothesis-independent pathway analysis implicates GABA and Acetyl-CoA metabolism in primary open-angle glaucoma and normal-pressure glaucoma. Bailey JN, Yaspan BL, Pasquale LR, Hauser MA, Kang JH, Loomis SJ, Brilliant M, Budenz DL, Christen WG, Fingert J, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Kraft P, Lee RK, Lichter PR, Liu Y, McCarty CA, Moroi SE, Richards JE, Realini T, Schuman JS, Scott WK, Singh K, Sit AJ, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Zhang K, Pericak-Vance MA, Allingham RR, Weinreb RN, Haines JL, Wiggs JLHum Genet. 2014 Jul 19.

Variations in COL15A1 and COL18A1 influence age of onset of primary open angle glaucomaWiggs JL, Howell GR, Linkroum K, Abdrabou W, Hodges E, Braine CE, Pasquale LR, Hannon GJ, Haines JL, John SW. Clin Genet. 2013 Aug;84(2):167-74.

Genome-wide analysis of multi-ancestry cohorts identifies new loci influencing intraocular pressure and susceptibility to glaucoma. Hysi PG, Cheng CY, Springelkamp H, Macgregor S, Bailey JN, Wojciechowski R, Vitart V, Nag A, Hewitt AW, Hhn R, Venturini C, Mirshahi A, Ramdas WD, Thorleifsson G, Vithana E, Khor CC, Stefansson AB, Liao J, Haines JL, Amin N, Wang YX, Wild PS, Ozel AB, Li JZ, Fleck BW, Zeller T, Staffieri SE, Teo YY, Cuellar-Partida G, Luo X, Allingham RR, Richards JE, Senft A, Karssen LC, Zheng Y, Bellenguez C, Xu L, Iglesias AI, Wilson JF, Kang JH, van Leeuwen EM, Jonsson V, Thorsteinsdottir U, Despriet DD, Ennis S, Moroi SE, Martin NG, Jansonius NM, Yazar S, Tai ES, Amouyel P, Kirwan J, van Koolwijk LM, Hauser MA, Jonasson F, Leo P, Loomis SJ, Fogarty R, Rivadeneira F, Kearns L, Lackner KJ, de Jong PT, Simpson CL, Pennell CE, Oostra BA, Uitterlinden AG, Saw SM, Lotery AJ, Bailey-Wilson JE, Hofman A, Vingerling JR, Maubaret C, Pfeiffer N, Wolfs RC, Lemij HG, Young TL, Pasquale LR, Delcourt C, Spector TD, Klaver CC, Small KS, Burdon KP, Stefansson K, Wong TY; BMES GWAS Group; NEIGHBORHOOD Consortium; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2, Viswanathan A, Mackey DA, Craig JE, Wiggs JL, van Duijn CM, Hammond CJ, Aung T. Nat Genet. 2014 Aug 31. doi: 10.1038/ng.3087

CDKN2B-AS1 genotype-glaucoma feature correlations in primary open-angle glaucoma patients from the United States. Pasquale LR, Loomis SJ, Kang JH, Yaspan BL, Abdrabou W, Budenz DL, Chen TC, Delbono E, Friedman DS, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Grosskreutz CL, Lee RK, Lichter PR, Liu Y, McCarty CA, Moroi SE, Olson LM, Realini T, Rhee DJ, Schuman JS, Singh K, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Allingham RR, Pericak-Vance MA, Weinreb RN, Zhang K, Hauser MA, Richards JE, Haines JL, Wiggs JLAm J Ophthalmol. 2013 Feb;155(2):342-353.e5.

Estrogen pathway polymorphisms in relation to primary open angle glaucoma: an analysis accounting for gender from the United States. Pasquale LR, Loomis SJ, Weinreb RN, Kang JH, Yaspan BL, Bailey JC, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Lee RK, Scott WK, Lichter PR, Budenz DL, Liu Y, Realini T, Friedman DS, McCarty CA, Moroi SE, Olson L, Schuman JS, Singh K, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Brilliant M, Sit AJ, Christen WG, Fingert J, Kraft P, Zhang K, Allingham RR, Pericak-Vance MA, Richards JE, Hauser MA, Haines JL, Wiggs JLMol Vis. 2013 Jul 12;19:1471-81.

Common variants at 9p21 and 8q22 are associated with increased susceptibility to optic nerve degeneration in glaucomaWiggs JL, Yaspan BL, Hauser MA, Kang JH, Allingham RR, Olson LM, Abdrabou W, Fan BJ, Wang DY, Brodeur W, Budenz DL, Caprioli J, Crenshaw A, Crooks K, Delbono E, Doheny KF, Friedman DS, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Laurie C, Lee RK, Lichter PR, Loomis S, Liu Y, Medeiros FA, McCarty C, Mirel D, Moroi SE, Musch DC, Realini A, Rozsa FW, Schuman JS, Scott K, Singh K, Stein JD, Trager EH, Vanveldhuisen P, Vollrath D, Wollstein G, Yoneyama S, Zhang K, Weinreb RN, Ernst J, Kellis M, Masuda T, Zack D, Richards JE, Pericak-Vance M, Pasquale LR, Haines JL. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(4):e1002654.

View a complete list of publications on pubmed.gov>>