Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology

Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology

Patricia A. D'Amore, Ph.D., MBA

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

In 1926, Dr. Lucien Howe initiated an ophthalmology research program at Mass. Eye and Ear with a gift of $250,000. This gift led to the establishment of The Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology 1931 and continues to support research in the Department of Ophthalmology today.

Subsequent donations and careful stewardship have increased the Howe endowment more than tenfold, and The Howe Laboratory has grown from a small group of investigators within the Department of Ophthalmology to a support program for research throughout. The funds are used to buy cutting-edge equipment, to support young investigators, and to sponsor lecture series. The Howe Laboratory is also the primary support of Mass. Eye and Ear's research library. Most important, it gives us the flexibility to move aggressively toward new research openings.

Support from the Howe Laboratory has resulted in publication of more than 1,700 scientific articles. “From the Howe Laboratory” graces the title page of some of the most important ophthalmological papers of the past century.


1932–1939 Frederick H. Verhoeff, M.D.
1940–1942 David G. Cogan, M.D. (Acting Director)
1943–1973 David G. Cogan, M.D.
1974–1988 Claes H. Dohlman, M.D., Ph.D.
1989–1990 Frederick Jakobiec, M.D., D.Sc.
1991–1994 Elio Raviola, M.D.
1995–1999 Meredithe L. Applebury, Ph.D.
2000–2002 Frederick Jakobiec, M.D., D.Sc. (Acting Director)
2002–2009 Joan W. Miller, M.D.
2010–2014 Richard H. Masland, Ph.D.

Photos courtesy of the Howe Library of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Left panel: Harris P. Mosher, M.D., (L), converses with Frederick H. Verhoeff, M.D., (R). Dr. Mosher was Chief of Otology and Laryngology at Mass. Eye and Ear from 1923 to 1939. Dr. Verhoeff was Director of the Howe Laboratory from 1932 to 1934. Right panel: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the mid-1920s, around the time Dr. Howe initiated the research program.