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Joe Hollyfield, PhD


Joe Hollyfield, Ph.D.

Appointed: 1995

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Joe Hollyfield, PhD
Department: Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code i31
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Joe Hollyfield, PhD
Department: Ophthalmic Research
Department Chair
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code i31
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Joe G. Hollyfield, PhD, is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and is a member of the Graduate School Faculty, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. He was Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, from 1996-2003. He received his PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Dr. Hollyfield previously held faculty positions at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He was Director of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Research Center in the Cullen Eye Institute at Baylor College of Medicine from 1978 until his move to Cleveland Clinic in 1995.

Dr. Hollyfield has published over 198 papers in the area of cell and developmental biology of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium in both normal and retinal degeneration tissues. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Experimental Eye Research, published by Elsevier Science. He has edited twelve books, eleven on retinal degenerations and one on the structure of the eye.

Dr. Hollyfield has received the Marjorie W. Margolin Prize (1981, 1994), the Sam and Bertha Brochstein Award (1985) and the Award of Merit in Retina Research (1998) from the Retina Research Foundation; the Olga Keith Wiess Distinguished Scholars' Award (1981), two Senior Scientific Investigator Awards (1988, 1994) from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.; an award for Outstanding Contributions to Vision Research from the Alcon Research Institute (1987); the Distinguished Alumnus Award (1991) from Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.; and the Endre A. Balazs Prize (1994) from the International Society for Eye Research. Dr. Hollyfield has been active in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology serving on the Program Committee, as a Trustee and as President. He is also a Past President and former Secretary of the International Society of Eye Research.  

He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation, the South Africa Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and is Co-Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Retina International. 

Education & Fellowships

Doctorate - University of Texas, Houston
Houston, TX USA
Graduate - Louisiana State University
New Orleans, LA USA
Undergraduate - Hendrix College
Conway, AR USA

Specialty Interests

macular degeneration, inherited retinal disease, basic biology and the outer retina

Awards & Honors

  • President, International Society for Eye Research, 1988-1991  
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Hendrix College, Conway, Ark., 1991
  • President, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 1993-1994 
  • The Balazs Prize, International Society for Eye Research, 1994 
  • Award of Merit from the Retina Research Foundation, 1998 
  • Schepens Lecture and Award of Merit from the Retina Research Foundation, 1998  
  • Ocular Cell & Molecular Biology Prize from the Allergan Laboratory, 1999 
  • Trustee, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation, 2000 
  • Sandy and Tom Trudell Honor, Foundation Fighting Blindness, 2002

Innovations & Patents

  • U.S. Patent no. 7172874, Diagnostic Methods for Age Related Macular Degeneration, by Joe G. Hollyfield, Robert G. Salomon, John W. Crabb, and Xiaorong Gu, granted February 6, 2007
  • U.S. Patent, Docket no. 378.1016-001, Non-Human Model in Autoimmune Disease by Victor L. Perez, Joe G. Hollyfield, and Robert G. Salomon, March 27, 2007


  • Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology
  • International Society for Eye Research
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 8/25/2015, Dr. Hollyfield has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English