About Eric Pierce, MD, PhD

Dr. Eric Pierce is a full-time clinician scientist. He is Director of the Ocular Genomics Institute at Mass. Eye and Ear, and the William F. Chatlos Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

As a group, retinal degenerations are a common cause of blindness. The overall goal of Dr. Pierce's clinical and research program has been to improve the understanding of the molecular bases of inherited retinal degenerations and related cilia disorders so that rational therapies can be developed for these diseases.

Dr. Pierce pursues his objectives through a combination of laboratory-based investigation of retinal biology and disease, clinical care of children and adults with retinal degenerative disorders, and clinical research. Dr. Pierce is currently working to develop gene therapy for several forms of retinal degeneration.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:




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

Medical Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts)
  • Residency, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
  • Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology


Dr. Pierce, the William F. Chatlos Professor of Ophthalmology, is an ophthalmologist and molecular geneticist whose research program is dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) and improving therapeutic interventions for these conditions. IRDs are a leading cause of blindness worldwide, and are characterized by progressive dysfunctionand death of retinal photoreceptor cells. Dr. Pierce's research program is focused on identifying new IRD disease genes, investigating the mechanism by which mutations in the identified genes lead to blindness, and using this information about disease pathogenesis to develop gene and genetic therapies to prevent vision loss.


  • 1. Shakhmantsir I, Dooley SJ, Kishore S, Chen D, Pierce E, Bennett J, Sehgal A. RNA Splicing Factor Mutations That Cause Retinitis Pigmentosa Result in Circadian Dysregulation. J Biol Rhythms. 2019 Nov 15; 748730419887876. 

    2. Brydon EM, Bronstein R, Buskin A, Lako M, Pierce EA, Fernandez-Godino R. AAV-Mediated Gene Augmentation Therapy Restores Critical Functions in Mutant PRPF31+/- iPSC-Derived RPE Cells. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2019 Dec 13; 15:392-402. 

    3. Wan A, Place E, Pierce EA, Comander J. Characterizing variants of unknown significance in rhodopsin: A functional genomics approach. Hum Mutat. 2019 08; 40(8):1127-1144. 

    4. Okur V, Cho MT, van Wijk R, van Oirschot B, Picker J, Coury SA, Grange D, Manwaring L, Krantz I, Muraresku CC, Hulick PJ, May H, Pierce E, Place E, Bujakowska K, Telegrafi A, Douglas G, Monaghan KG, Begtrup A, Wilson A, Retterer K, Anyane-Yeboa K, Chung WK. De novo variants in HK1 associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities and visual impairment. Eur J Hum Genet. 2019 Jul; 27(7):1081-1089. 

    5. Pendse ND, Lamas V, Pawlyk BS, Maeder ML, Chen ZY, Pierce EA, Liu Q. In Vivo Assessment of Potential Therapeutic Approaches for USH2A-Associated Diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019; 1185:91-96. 

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