John C. Merriam, MD

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology

John C. Merriam received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College. He spent a post-graduate year studying French and genetics at the University of Paris and travelling around the world before returning to the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT program in health sciences. He was awarded the M.D. cum laude and subsequently was an intern with the Harvard Surgical Service and a junior resident in surgery and plastic surgery at the Peter Bent Brigham and Boston Children’s Hospitals. After completing a residency in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, he was a clinical and research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, before returning to the Eye Institute at Columbia. He is Board-certified in ophthalmology.

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Merriam has broad clinical training and experience. His practice is focused on disorders of the anterior segment of the eye, including the surgical management of cataract, and ophthalmic plastic surgery. He is an active participant in the on-going investigation at the Eye Institute of the genetics of macular degeneration.

Contact Information

Please call the office at 212-305-5402.
New patients are accepted.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Merriam has been named to many “top doctor” lists, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors 2013, America’s Best Doctors 2013, US News & World Report Top Doctors, New York Super Doctors 2013, New York Times Top Doctors, and Best Doctors in America 2014.

He has performed editorial review for a number of medical publications including the Archives of Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering Online, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Cancer, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Ophthalmic Lasers and Surgery, Ophthalmology, Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Ophthalmic and Physiologic Optics, Slack Publishing, Photochemistry and Photobiology, Graefe’s Archives of Ophthalmology, and Acta Ophthamologica.

He attended Harvard College with a National Merit Scholarship and a General Motors Scholarship and fellowship in San Francisco was supported by the Heed Foundation. A research sabbatical in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1998-99 was supported by the Swedish Institute and the Karolinska Institute.


Select Publications

  • Merriam JC, Stalnecker MC, Merriam GR Jr. Reconstruction of the Lids of a Child with Microblepharon and Multiple Congenital Anomalies. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 1988; 86:55-93.
  • Jacobs JL, Merriam JC, Chadburn A, Hilal SK, Garvin J, Housepian EM. Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma of the Orbit: Report of three new cases and review of the literature. Cancer 1994; 73:399-405.
  • Merriam JC. The concentration of light in the human lens. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 1996; 94:803-918.
  • Merriam JC, Zheng L, Urbanowicz JE, Zaider M. Change on the horizontal and vertical merdians of the cornea after cataract surgery. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 2001;99:187-197.
  • Merriam JC, Löfgren S, Michael R, Söderberg P, Dillon J, Zheng L, Ayala M. An Action Spectrum for UV-B Radiation and the Rat Lens. Inves Ophthal Vis Sci 41:2642-2647, 2000.
  • Merriam JC, Zheng L, Merriam JE, Zaider M, Lindström B. The effect of incisions for cataract on corneal curvature. Ophthalmology 110:1807-1813, 2003.
  • Hageman GS, Anderson DH, Johnson LV, Hancox LS et al. A common haplotype in the complement regulatory gene factor H (HF1/CFH) predisposes individuals to age-related macular degeneration. Proc Nat Acad Sci 102:7227-7232, 2005.
  • Gaillard ER, Merriam JC, Zheng L, Dillon J. Transmission of light to the young primate retina: possible implications for the formation of lipofuschin. Photochem Photobiol 87:18-21, 2011.