James C Tsai MD, MBA, FACS

Robert R. Young Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Chair, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science; Chief, Ophthalmology, Yale-New Haven Hospital

Departments & Organizations

Ophthalmology and Visual Science: Eye Center, Yale | Glaucoma Service | Patient Care Faculty


James C. Tsai, MD, became Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science effective October 1, 2006. Dr. Tsai previously directed the glaucoma division at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Dr. Tsai is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College and alumnus of the Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Following his residency, he completed glaucoma fellowships at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami and at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Institute of Ophthalmology, in London. Dr. Tsai also received a MBA degree from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Tsai serves on the editorial boards of Highlights of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma Today and Ocular Surgery News and is an editorial panel member of Academy Express. In addition, he has served as a scientific reviewer for 31 peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Molecular Vision, Experimental Eye Research, and Ophthalmology. He has authored a wide range of scientific articles, abstracts, and book chapters in glaucoma, as well as 3 editions of the medical textbook Medical Management of Glaucoma.
As department chair, Dr. Tsai is following in the footsteps of two highly respected experts in glaucoma care and research, Marvin L. Sears, MD, who founded the department in 1971; and M. Bruce Shields, MD, who has served as chair since 1996. Dr. Tsai’s vision for the department is to make it an internationally recognized leader in patient care, vision research and medical education, building on the department’s considerable resources in all three areas. Dr. Tsai will be recruiting additional clinicians and basic scientists with a focus on translational studies to bring discoveries to the bedside.
Dr. Tsai is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons and the Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom. He is an officer of the American Glaucoma Society and an elected member of the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Eye Study Club, and the New York Ophthalmological Society. He currently serves as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Governors, Yale Medical Group. He is on the board of directors of the Glaucoma Foundation, where he serves as Chairman of its Medical Advisory Board. He is President of the Chinese-American Ophthalmological Society. A past consultant for the Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he is currently a member of the National Eye Health Education Program Planning Committee of the National Institute of Health.


  • B.A., Amherst College , 1985
  • M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine , 1989
  • M.B.A., Vanderbilt University , 1998

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • Senior Achievement Award (2009) , American Academy of Ophthalmology