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Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD

Louis Block Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science

Chair, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science

Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD, is an internationally renowned ophthalmologist with expertise in managing complex medical and surgical diseases of the cornea and ocular surface. Dr. Colby has a particular interest in Fuchs’ dystrophy, the most common cause for corneal transplantation in the United States, and is currently pioneering novel treatments for this condition. In addition, she has specific expertise in the management of ocular surface tumors, including conjunctival melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Dr. Colby is an active researcher whose contributions have enhanced outcomes for patients who require keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea) surgery. She has an ongoing interest in corneal infections and has published extensively in this area. Dr. Colby was instrumental in determining the optimal surgical techniques for placement of the implantable miniature telescope, a vision-rehabilitative device for patients with macular degeneration.

Dr. Colby is a passionate educator who trained hundreds of medical students, ophthalmology residents and cornea fellows during the two decades she spent at Harvard Medical School prior to coming to the University of Chicago to lead the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. She lectures around the world on numerous corneal and clinical research topics. She has leadership roles in various national and international societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Cornea Society.

Practice Location

University of Chicago Medical Center
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Year Started Practice


Board Certification


Medical School

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Residency and Fellowship

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School

Additional Graduate Degrees

PhD in Neurobiology, Brown University


American Academy of Ophthalmology
Cornea Society
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
Women in Ophthalmology

Language(s) Spoken


Office Phone

(773) 702-5984

Office Fax

(773) 926-0685

Office Postal Address

Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD
University of Chicago Medical Center
5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 2114
Chicago, IL 60637

Physician Photo

Clinical Interests

  • Cornea and external eye diseases
  • Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Ocular surface tumors, including conjunctival melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma
  • Corneal transplantation, including endothelial transplantation
  • Keratoprosthesis
  • Corneal infections
  • Corneal diseases in children

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Selected Publications

View a partial list of Dr. Colby's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.