Donald J. Zack, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Donald J. Zack
  • Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine (STORM)
  • Professor of Ophthalmology



Research Interests

Glaucoma; Gene expression in retinal ganglion cells more


The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-5080
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287
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Donald J. Zack, M.D., Ph.D., is the Guerrieri Professor of Genetic Engineering and Molecular Ophthalmology and co-director of the Center for Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine (STORM) at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He is also a professor in the departments of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, and the Institute of Genetic Medicine. His lab studies the control of gene expression in retinal ganglion cells, the cells whose death in glaucoma leads to visual loss and potentially blindness. He also studies the mechanisms by which ganglion cells die in glaucoma, and are developing novel methods to slow down, and hopefully prevent, ganglion cell death in glaucoma. Dr. Zack and his colleagues are beginning studies to promote the differentiation of stem cells into retinal ganglion cells, in the hope that someday that might offer the possibility of restoring vision to glaucoma patients who have already lost significant vision due to ganglion cell death.

Dr. Zack received his M.D. degree and Ph.D. in molecular immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After a year of internship, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard University. He then completed fellowship training in glaucoma and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and joined the faculty in 1991. Dr. Zack has published over 160 peer-reviewed journal articles and has won a number of awards, including the Alcon Research Award. more


  • Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine (STORM)
  • Guerrieri Professor of Genetic Engineering & Molecular Ophthalmology
  • Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Joint Appointment in Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Professor of Genetic Medicine
  • Professor of Neuroscience

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Research & Publications

Contact for Research Inquiries

Smith Building
400 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-502-5230
Fax: 410-502-5382

Email me

Activities & Honors


  • Friedenwald Award, ARVO, 2019

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

A Dream Team Designed for Collaboration, One Wilmer (May 2020)

Stem Cells May Hold the Fix, U.S. News and World Report (Oct. 2017)

Eye Cells Grown at Johns Hopkins May Lead to a Cure for Some Forms of Blindness, Baltimore Sun (Dec. 2015)

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