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J. William Harbour, M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in ocular oncology. 

Dr. Harbour earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University and completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Wills Eye Hospital of Thomas Jefferson University. He received advanced training through a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami, a fellowship in ocular oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, and research training in molecular oncology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021.

Previously, Dr. Harbour held the Dr. Mark J. Daily, M.D., Endowed Chair at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where he also served as Director of Ocular Oncology and Vice Chair for Translational Research. He also served as Associate Director for Basic Science at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Miami.

Dr. Harbour’s clinical interests focus on ocular tumors such as uveal melanoma, retinoblastoma, and lymphoma. He has trained many residents and fellows and pioneered new surgical methods in fine needle biopsy, laser treatment, and brachytherapy of ocular tumors. He also has been awarded patents for innovations in genetic prognostic testing for uveal melanoma.

His research interests include the use of genetic and genomic technologies to better understand, diagnose, and treat eye cancers. His team discovered three of the most important genomic drivers of metastasis in uveal melanoma, as well as key genomic events in retinoblastoma. His contributions to the field have been recognized by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s Cogan Award and the Macula Society’s Paul Henkind and Rosenthal Awards, among many others.

Dr. Harbour has delivered more than 300 invited scientific lectures and published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters.

He is an Associate Editor for Melanoma Research and has served on the editorial boards of Archives of Ophthalmology, Translational Vision Science & Technology, Melanoma Management, Expert Review of Ophthalmology, and Faculty of 1000.

Dr. Harbour is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of American Physicians, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Cancer Research, and American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists, and he is the founder of the Collaborative Ocular Oncology Group.


Medical School
Johns Hopkins University (1990)
Greater Baltimore Medical Center (1991), Internal Medicine
Wills Eye Hospital (1994), Ophthalmology
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (1995), Retina
University of California San Francisco (1996), Ocular Oncology Pathology
Research Fellowship
Washington University School of Medicine (1999), Molecular Oncology

Research Interest

  • Genetic mechanisms of metastasis
  • Ocular Oncology
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Tumor Immune Microenvironment
  • Uveal Melanoma


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Cellular and Genetic Events in Retinal Tumorigenesis. In Clinical Ocular Oncology, 2nd Edition

Dyer MA, Harbour JW (2014). Elsevier

Intraocular Lymphoma. In Albert and Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology, 4th Edition

Echegaray JJ, Harbour JW (2021). Springer

Choroidal Nevus and Melanocytoma. In Albert and Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology, 4th Edition

Alhumaid S, Harbour JW (2020). Springer

Intraocular Lymphoma. In Albert and Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology, 4th Edition

Echegaray JJ, Harbour JW (2020). Springer

Intraocular Lymphoma. In The Retina Illustrated, 2nd Edition

Paez-Escamilla M, Andreoli M, Harbour JW (2019). Thieme Publishers

Initial management of uveal and conjunctival melanomas. In UpToDate (

Harbour JW, Shih HA (2018).

Intraocular Lymphoma: A Clinical Approach. In The Retina Illustrated, 1st Edition

Paez-Escamilla M, Andreoli M, Harbour JW (2018). Thieme Publishers

Genomics and Precision Medicine in the Management of Ocular Tumors. In Vitreoretinal Surgical Techniques, 3rd Edition

Paez-Escamilla M, Walter S, Harbour JW (2018). CRC Press

Uveal Melanoma. In Encyclopedia of Cancer, 4th Edition

Ehlers JP, Harbour JW (2017). Berlin Heidelberg, Springer-Verlag

Retinoblastoma: Clinical and Molecular Perspectives. In The Molecular Basis of Human Cancer, 2nd Edition

Harbour JW, Walter SD (2015). Springer

Molecular Biology of Retinoblastoma. In Recent Advances in Retinoblastoma Treatment

Walter SD, Harbour JW (2015). Springer

Second Primary Tumors in Retinoblastoma. In Orbital Tumors: Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd Edition

Harbour JW. Mohsenin A (2014). Springer

Cancer Genetics. In Clinical Ocular Oncology 2nd Edition

Harbour JW, Chao DL (2013). Springer

Honors & Awards

  • Alcon Research Institute Basic Sciences Award
  • Retina Research Foundation/Kayser Global Award
  • ARVO Silver Fellow
  • Macula Society Paul Henkind Memorial Award and Lecture
  • RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award
  • ASRS Honor Award
  • Shaler Richardson, MD Service to Medicine Award
    Florida Society of Ophthalmology (for personal contribution to quality patient care by collaborating and integrating ophthalmology into the medical profession on a national level) (2013)
  • AAO Senior Achievement Award
  • Ocular Melanoma Foundation Research Award
  • Macula Society Rosenthal Award
  • ARVO Cogan Award
  • RPB David F. Weeks Professorship in Translational Research Award
  • AAO Achievement Award
  • RPB Physician-Scientist Award
  • RPB Career Development Award
  • Heed-Knapp Ophthalmic Fellowship
    UC San Francisco (1995-1996)
  • Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship
    Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (1994-1995)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (1991)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (1996)
  • American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists & Pathologists (2000)
  • American Ophthalmological Society (2014)
  • American Society of Retina Specialists (1996)
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (1992)
  • Association of American Physicians (2010)
  • Collaborative Ocular Oncology Group (2007)
  • International Society of Ocular Oncology (1998)
  • Macula Society (1999)
  • Retina Society (1998)
  • Society for Melanoma Research (2010)
  • Society of Heed Fellows (1996)