Our Providers

Stephen H. Tsang, MD, PhD
  • Laszlo T. Bito Professor of Ophthalmology, and Pathology and Cell Biology
  • Course co-director, BMENE6510 Stem Cells, Genome Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Stephen H. Tsang, <span>MD, PhD</span>

Stephen H. Tsang, M.D, Ph.D. is an acclaimed clinical geneticist in the care of individuals with retinal degenerations, and is known worldwide for his pivotal research in reprogramming the metabolome as a therapeutic avenue. His team successfully treated preclinical models of Pde6aPde6bMfrpRhoCngb1 and autosomal recessive bestrophin retinopathies. 

His contributions were recognized by the 2005 Bernard Becker-Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology-Research to Prevent Blindness Award.  He is an elected member of several honorary societies including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Alcon Research Institute and American Ophthalmological Society. He is consistently named to various NIH study sections (DPVS standing member 2014-8) and serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel of Research to Prevent Blindness. Dr. Tsang received 2008 resident teaching award and was the Columbia ophthalmology basic science course director (2006-2018).

Dr. Tsang has been a pioneer in genome surgery in stem cells. Most recently, he has been invited to lecture at CRISPR genome surgery workshop during the annual Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2015, 16, 18, 19 & 20 Annual Meetings; and as a Moderator for Gene Editing/Rewriting the Genome: Moving from Association to Biology and Therapeutics session during the 65th American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, and a lecturer at 2015 & 2016 CRISPR Revolution conference and 2020 "Progress toward Meaningful Disease Modification in Proteinopathies and Neurodegenerative Disorders"  at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He delivered a keynote address for a Gordon Research Conference on Feb 16th, 2020. 

In his New York State supported stem cell program (N09G-302), Dr Tsang is examining embryonic stem (ES) cells to model and replace diseased human retinal cells. He is one of a handful of clinicians who can direct the full spectrum of bench-to-bedside research. PI’s research on cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE6) is a case in point. PDE6 defects lead to blindness in 72,000 people worldwide. PI generated the world’s first gene-targeted model of retinitis pigmentosa (a PDE6 mutant), and then used these mice to dissect the underlying pathophysiology. These studies led to novel and fundamental discoveries on PDE6 regulation of G-protein-coupled-receptor signaling and, eventually, preclinical testing in the same mice; of the different therapies tested, viral-gene therapy is slated for clinical trials. Many of his publications are in widely-read general interest journals such as Science, NEJM, LancetCell Stem Cell, Nature Genetics, and Journal of Clinical Investigation, which attests to the broad impact that his work has had.

Dr. Tsang graduated from Johns Hopkins University, where he began his medical genetics training under the tutelage of Professor Victor A. McKusick. He received his M.D.-Ph.D. degrees from the NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Columbia University. Dr. Tsang then completed his residency at Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA, followed by studies with Professors Alan C. Bird and Graham E. Holder on improving the care of individuals with macular degenerations.

Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology

Areas of Expertise

  • Retinal Disorders
  • Eye Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetic Disorder
  • Clinical Molecular Genetics
  • Hereditary Retinal Degeneration
  • Electrophysiology
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Precision Medicine
  • Skin Pigmentation Disorder
  • Retinal Disease
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Marfan's Syndrome
  • Retinopathy
  • Vitreoretinal Disorder
  • Retinal Vascular Disorders
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retina Degeneration
  • Retinal Bleeding
  • Retina Disorder
  • Pediatric Genetics
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Adult Genetics
  • Clinical Genetics

    Education & Training

  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Internship: New York Hospital Queens
  • Residency: UCLA - Jules Stein Eye Institute
  • Fellowship: Moorfields Eye Hospital, London


  • Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute

    635 West 165th Street
    Floor: 5
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-9535
    (212) 342-5293

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, NYP Employee Plan, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]
  • AgeWell [Medicare Managed Care, Special Needs Plan]
  • Capital District Physician Health Plan [Capital District Physician Health Plan]
  • Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Elderplan [Medicare Managed Care]
  • Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [EPO, Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • MagnaCare [MagnaCare]
  • Medicare [Traditional Medicare (NY)]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • MVP Health Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, Compass (Exchange), HMO, Medicaid (Community Plan), Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]

This provider accepts new patients

Appointment Phone Number: (212) 305-9535

Honors & Awards

  • Named Lectureships
  • 2006                   Dr. Isaac Bekhor Lecturer, Doheny Eye Institute at University of Southern California (9/29)
  • 2013                   Dr. Paul Stringer Memorial Lectureship, McMaster University
  • 2013                   Dr. Bradley Straastma Lecturer, Resident Graduation, UCLA
  • 2015                   Dr. Joginder Nath Lecturer, West Virginia U. School of Medicine
  • 2016                   Lecturer, World Science Festival, CRISPR Technologies
  • 1988 – 1989       Alpha Epsilon Delta, National Premedical Honor Society, Maryland Alpha (Historian)
  • 1988 – 1989       Dean’s List, The Johns Hopkins University
  • 1989                   Graduate with Departmental Honor
  • 1989                   Recipient of Student Activities Award, The Johns Hopkins University
  • 1989 – 1997       NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences Medical Scientist Training Program: MSTP fellowship PHS Grant #T32GM073667-14
  • 1995                   ARVO/National Eye Institute Travel Fellowship Grant for the 1995 ARVO meeting
  • 1996                   Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, Graduate Sch of Arts & Sciences, Columbia U. Dr. Alfred Steiner Award for Best Medical Student Research, Columbia U.
  • 1997                   Best Overall Presentation at Eastern Student Research Forum sponsored by American Medical Association and the University of Miami
  • 1997                   Travel Grant, European Students’ Conference at the Charité in Berlin
  • 1998                   Edith McKane Award in Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia U.
  • 1998                   John Lattimer Award in Urology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia U.
  • 2000                   Jules Stein Eye Institute Research Award
  • 2000                   RPB-Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology (AUPO) Resident Award
  • 2001 – present   Fight for Sight/Grant-In-Aid Review Panel Member
  • 2003                   Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2003                   RPB Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology Resident Award
  • 2003                   Nesburn Resident Award
  • 2004                   Dennis W. Jahnigen Award, American Geriatrics Society
  • 2005                   Becker-AUPO-RPB Award
  • 2006                   ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician Scientist Award
  • 2007                   Charles E. Culpeper Award
  • 2008                   Teacher Recognition Award, Columbia U.
  • 2008 – 2009       Listed as one of “America’s Top Ophthalmologists” by Consumers’ Research Council of America                                                                                           http://consumersresearchcncl.org/Healthcare/Ophthalmologists/top_ophth.html
  • 2009                   Patients' Choice Award for 2008
  • 2009                   Elected to Macular Society
  • 2010                   Keynote Speaker, GTCbio 2nd Annual Ocular Disease & Drug Discovery  conferen. May 28, 2010
  • 2012                   Invited Lecturer, University of Geneva
  • 2013, 14             Elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America®
  • 2013                   ARVO Foundation Carl Camras Award
  • 2014                   Foundation Fighting Blindness Visionary Award Recipient and “Banking on a Cure” Honoree
  • 2015                   ARVO 2015 Annual Meeting Gene Editing Symposium Invited Lecturer in Denver, Colorado
  • 2015                   Elected to American Ophthalmological Society
  • 2015                   Invited Lecturer,Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft DOG
  • 2015                   Plenary lecture, Rensselaer Center for Stem Cell Research (RCSCR) - Symposium
  • 2015                   Chair,  Gene Editing/Rewriting the Genome Symposium American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting
  • 2016                   Elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2018                   Young Investigator Award, Macular Society