About Reza Dana, MD, MPH, MSC

Dr. Reza Dana is an internationally recognized expert in corneal disorders and ocular inflammation. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities, who holds the Claes Dohlman Chair in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He is Director of the Cornea Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Senior Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass Eye and Ear, and a member of the Harvard Medical School Graduate Program in Immunology (Committee on Immunology), and directs the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program. He conducts both basic and translational research in the field of corneal and transplantation immunology.  He studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ocular inflammation with applications to autoimmunity, transplantation, dry eye disease and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

A Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), he has authored more than 390 peer-reviewed articles and over 120 reviews and book chapters, and has presented more than 200 invited and named lectures worldwide.  His published work has been cited more than 28,000 times and has an h-index  of 86.  Dr. Dana's translational research has led to several successful physician-sponsored IND applications to the FDA. His research is supported by several federal grants.

Dr. Dana has trained over 80 clinical fellows, and 125 postdoctoral fellows and students in his laboratory from over 33 countries to date, the significant majority holding full-time academic positions in ophthalmology and vision research. He is recipient of the Harvard Medical School A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, ARVO's Cogan Award (2003) and ISER's Endre A. Balazs Price (2016), Friedenwald Award (2018) and the Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:




Mass Eye and Ear
243 Charles St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-523-7900

Medical Education

  • MSc, Harvard T. H Chan School of Public Health
  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • MPH, Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health
  • Residency, Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts Eye and Ear***
  • Fellowship, Wills Eye Institute

American Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology


Dr. Dana is an ophthalmologist and immunologist whose principal research interest is in determining the molecular and cellular regulation of corneal and ocular surface immunity.  His laboratory focuses on the mechanisms by which both immune and non-hematopoietic (tissue resident) cells maintain immune quiescence in both alloimmunity and autoimmunity.  Work from the Dana lab has been instrumental in determining the cytokine ligands and receptors (including decoy non-signaling receptors) that maintain the eye's immune and angiogenic privilege.  Since these regulatory functions are susceptible to failure in states of high inflammation,  the lab has focused on (I) determining the mechanisms that lead to abrogation of the normal regulatory functions of immune cells and (ii) cytokine targeting strategies that can counter-balance these pathogenic mechanisms for restoring immune homeostasis. The work has uncovered numerous mechanisms that regulate antigen-presenting/dendritic cell maturation and mobilization in the eye and lymphoid tissues, interactions between immune cells, including effector and regulatory T cells (Treg), with the ocular surface epithelium and vascular endothelium, and more recently Treg plasticity and regulatory breakdown in chronic inflammation.  The group's more recent program is focused on the effect of aging on the Treg-memory T cell balance.


  • 1. Dana R. Letter From the New Editor-in-Chief. Cornea. 2020 Jan; 39(1):1.

    2. Coco G, Foulsham W, Nakao T, Yin J, Amouzegar A, Taketani Y, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Regulatory T cells promote corneal endothelial cell survival following transplantation via interleukin-10. AM J Transplant. 2020;20(2):389-398. PMID: 31587452

    3. Yu M, Lee SM, Lee H, Amouzegar A, Nakao T, Chen Y, Dana R. Neurokinin-1 receptor antagonism ameliorates dry eye disease by inhibiting antigen-presenting cell maturation and T helper 17 cell antagonism. AM J Pathol. 2020;190:125-133. PMID: 31669306.

    4. Inomata T, Iwagami M, Nakamura M, Shiang T, Yoshimura Y, Fujimoto K, Okumura Y, Eguchi A, Iwata N, Miura M, Hori S, Hiratsuka Y, Uchino M, Tsubota K, Dana R, Murakami A. Characteristics and Risk Factors Associated With Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Symptomatic Dry Eye Using a Smartphone Application. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov 27. 

    5. Lu??nik Z, Sun Z, Yin J, Benetz BA, Lass JH, Dana R. A standardized methodology for longitudinal assessment of corneal endothelial morphometry in eye banked corneas. J Biol Methods. 2019; 6(4):e120.

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