Our History


Governor Nelson Dewey includes a medical school in the newly created University of Wisconsin.



Charles Russell BardeenWith the hiring of Charles Bardeen, the university acknowledges the need to incorporate more human-related studies of anatomy and physiology in the pre-medical biology program. Bardeen teaches anatomy, creates an anatomy department and conducts wide-ranging correspondences with medical educators and state boards of examiners across the country.


The genesis of the Wisconsin Idea is often attributed to former UW President Charles Van Hise, who in a 1905 address declared:

I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state.


Science HallThe two-year College of Medicine, consisting of the departments of anatomy, physiology, physiological chemistry and bacteriology and hygiene, is created; Bardeen is appointed dean. Classes are held in the in the attic of historic Science Hall and the old Chemical Engineering building.


In response to the typhoid epidemic and to encourage the development of clinical services in Madison, Bardeen creates the Department of Clinical Medicine (Student Health Service). Other small hospitals on campus follow.


Dr. Frederick Allison Davis (F.A. Davis) is invited to Madison to join the future Davis and Duehr Eye Clinic in Madison, originally started by Dr. Corydon Greenwood Dwight.


Surgical subspecialties (plastic surgery and orthopedics) are instituted at UW. Ophthalmology lives in the Surgery Department from now until 1970.


The first eye pathology lab established at UW. (Image: Original hospital building with McArdie addition built in 1939)


The school expands its curriculum to a four-year program after Wisconsin General Hospital opens in 1924. The UW Medical School becomes the nation’s first to establish statewide teaching sites. The “Wisconsin Preceptorial Plan,” which places students under the tutelage of physicians in Madison and across the state, begins “something new in medical education.”

Dr. Frederick Allison Davis accepts the Professorship and Chairmanship of the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat (EENT) and Plastic, a division of the Department of Surgery.



Dr. Frederick A. Davis

Texas-born Frederick Allison Davis, MD, the Department’s first professor and Chair, originally graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1909. He then completed his residency at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and his postdoctoral training at Harvard, Pennsylvania and in London and Vienna. He led the Department until 1954. In the early years of his tenure, the EENT/Plastics service offered two-year residencies. When the Plastic Surgery program separated and joined the Department of Surgery in 1935, the EENT service extended the residency to three years.
During those 29 years as Chair, he also developed a busy clinical practice (Davis, Neff and Duehr), published scientific articles (including his timeless paper on direct ophthalmoscopy), established Ophthalmic Pathology as part of the service, trained his successor and partner Peter A. Duehr (1932), married Edith Swenson, and fathered two daughters and two ophthalmologist sons, Frederick J. (Jeff) and Matthew D. (Dinny) Davis.

Dr. Duehr once marveled at Dr. Davis’s leadership by stating, “…he did some fine research (mainly concerning hereditary eye diseases and improved techniques of cataract surgery) while practicing and teaching. I don’t know how he found time to do it, particularly without benefit of funding and with the help of only a part-time technician.”


Helen KellerLions Clubs International features Helen Keller as the guest speaker. Through her interpreter, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to constitute themselves as “Knights of the Blind” in a crusade against blindness. As a result, Lions Clubs International sponsors thousands of programs for the blind and visually impaired around the world each year.


Dr. Dwight retires, leaving the clinic in Dr. F.A. Davis’s capable hands. Dr. Eugene E. Neff, like Davis, also completed his ophthalmology training at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and moved to Madison in 1924. He joins Dr. F.A. Davis in private practice – renamed Davis and Neff Eye Clinic. Together they run the EENT service of the University Residency Program on a part-time basis. Every three months they alternate running the service, until the untimely death of Dr. Neff in 1949. The two were wonderful teachers who insisted upon excellence in every regard.


Nineteen men and six women become the first graduates of the University of Wisconsin Medical School’s four-year program.


Service Memorial Institute, abutting Wisconsin General Hospital, opens, serving as the School’s academic home. Scientific and clinical staff now work together collaboratively.


Frederic Mohs develops a surgical technique to remove external tumors, such as mouth, lip and skin cancers, while sparing normal tissue.


Dr. Peter Alexander Duehr completes his 2-year residency in EENT and Plastics and then joins the Davis and Neff Clinic and University staff.



Dr. Peter Duehr completed his two year combined residency at UW and joined the Davis and Neff Clinic in 1934 as both a part-time clinical faculty member and a practicing ophthalmologist. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a clinical professor, and succeeded F.A. Davis as chair of the division in 1954. Surprisingly, it was not until 1961-62 that he was granted full faculty status; Duehr served as chairman until 1970 when ophthalmology was recognized as a department. He became an emeritus professor in 1973 and retired from practice in 1978 at 88 years old.

Duehr was a complete physician and an astute diagnostician who missed little on clinical examination. He had a memory for unusual cases he had seen in the past, but was an attentive physician endeared to all his patients. He was a gifted surgeon and an outstanding teacher who taught by example. Duehr, with the help of Dr. Matthew D. Davis, encouraged graduates of the residency program to pursue fellowship training in various subspecialties and return to Madison and take minimally paid part time positions in the division to enhance its quality. Hence, he inaugurated the era of specialization by adding services directed by a fellowship-trained retina specialist in 1956, followed by Glaucoma (1960), Neuro-ophthalmology (1961), and Oculoplastics (1968).


Dr. Ralph Stevens is the first EENT resident to graduate from the newly established 3-year program.



Ophthalmology formally separated from EENT at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.


Kambara at Eye Service Picnic

Shortly after WWII, Dr. Dwain Mings became Dr. Neff’s first 5-year preceptor at the Davis and Neff Clinic. During this preceptorship and several decades thereafter, he was heavily involved with the residency program of the University of Wisconsin Ophthalmology Service as a clinical instructor.

Dr. George Kambara completes his 2-year residency.



George K. Kambara, MD, completed his residency in ophthalmology here in 1946. Although he graduated from Stanford Medical School in 1941, as an American-born Japanese (Nisei) he was caught up in anti-Japanese sentiment after Pearl Harbor and sent to the Tule Lake Relocation Camp (internment camp) in California.

There, he developed an eye, ear, nose and throat clinic until he was able to obtain a paid residency at the Memphis Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital. His interest in ophthalmology grew as he realized he would need more training to pass the American Board of Ophthalmology exam and wanted to leave the segregated South. Fortunately, with the help of Frederick A. Davis, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kambara was able to complete his ophthalmology residency at Wisconsin, where he remained as a full-time instructor until 1948.

While he was very fond of Wisconsin, he ultimately returned to the Los Angeles area, where he set up a private practice in Japantown and continued to see patients, even after becoming a faculty member at the University of California Medical School. His endowment gift provides the funding for our vision science symposia.


Dr. George Corcoran was the first graduate of the 3-year program in Ophthalmology, followed 6-months later by Dr. Levon Yasugian. Both doctors had active practices throughout their careers.


Davis, Duehr, Corcoran, Mannis

Dr. Peter Duehr becomes junior partner of Davis and (Neff) Duehr Clinic after Dr. Neff suffers a heart attack.


Dr. Frederick J. Davis joins his father at the Davis and Duehr Eye Clinic after completing his residency in New York


Dr. Frederick A. Davis retires. Dr. Peter A. Duehr, beloved clinician and teacher, becomes the second Chair of the Eye Service.

Dr. Frederick J. Davis is stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA, and serves as Chief of Ophthalmology for the Naval Hospital until 1956. Upon his return to Madison, he is one of the first to practice ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery in Wisconsin as a specialty.


Alice R. McPherson

Alice R. McPherson, MD, graduates as the first female resident from the program.

Dr. Matthew D. Davis completes his residency.


Retina service specialization added as the first of several new sub-specialty training programs.



Dr. Guillermo de Venecia completes his residency at UW.



After completing his residency, Dr. de Venecia received additional ophthalmologic pathology training at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and in neuro-ophthalmology and glaucoma in Miami and Boston, respectively. He returned to UW and became the division’s first subspecialty-trained, full-time clinician. His contributions were vital in the training of residents and students.

De Venecia frequently traveled to his native Philippines, where he established the Free Rural Eye Clinic to provide cataract surgery and other ophthalmologic care to indigent patients.


Glaucoma service added as a sub-specialty training program.

Full time faculty recruitment began with the appointment of Ronald Engerman, PhD. Dr. Engerman initiated basic research in a one-room lab in the ophthalmology service, where he namely studied retinal vascular pathology, which later complemented the first major clinical research on the natural course of diabetic retinopathy by Professor Matthew D. Davis.

Davis and Engerman also begin competing for extramural research funds, a tradition that continues to this day, that place the department in the upper 10% of annual National Eye Institute research funding.


Dr. Duehr forges an affiliation with the Veterans Affairs Hospital with Drs. Fred Blum and Donald Peterson who were in private practice in Madison. This lasting partnership continues to support and enrich the UW-Madison’s Ophthalmology residency. Another seminal development occurred during Dr. Duehr’s tenure: the recruitment of full-time university PhD researchers in retinal vascular pathology. The collaboration and exchange of ideas between talented scientists and experienced Retina clinicians – this would have a huge impact on defining the commitment of the fledgling department to grow into one of the nation’s leading centers for research on eye disease.

Neuro-ophthalmology service added as a sub-specialty training program.



The residency program grew from training one resident a year to two. On his own initiative, Dr. William Siebold completes his comprehensive eye residency through the VA Hospital and performed the first intraocular surgery there by a resident.



Davis Duehr Clinic groundbreaking, 1967

The residency program grew from training two residents a year to three. Dr. James C. Allen took on the direction of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital partnership from 1967 to 2000. Under Dr. Allen’s stewardship the VA Hospital became one of the Department’s principal resources for residency training.


Oculoplastics service added as a sub-specialty training program and Dr. Richard K. Dortzbach returns to Madison after fellowship at the Eye Foundation Hospital in Birmingham, AL to head this area with the guidance of Frederick J. Davis.

In this same year, the program grew from two residents to three per year.


Dr. Matthew D. Davis leads as full-time Chairman of the Section of Ophthalmology and is instrumental in elevating the Ophthalmology Service to department status.

The Eye Bank of Wisconsin in Madison is established by Dr. Guillermo de Venecia, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Lions and Milwaukee Eye Bank, to provide ocular tissue for transplants to the people of Wisconsin.



Dr. Davis’s major and enduring contributions to ophthalmology are pioneering collaborative multi-centered clinical trials and establishing the first ophthalmic photographic reading center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He demonstrated how clinical research should be conducted with discipline and rigor to ensure that the data collected are unbiased, accurate and reproducible.

Just as the National Eye Institute (NEI) was being formed, Dr. Davis chaired the groundbreaking Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS) which began in 1971. The results of this seminal study established scatter laser photocoagulation (panretinal photocoagulation) as the standard therapy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, eventually reducing the risk of severe vision loss from proliferative diabetic retinopathy by as much as 95%. This major randomized controlled clinical trial, which was the first to be sponsored by the NEI, became the template for the conduct of future eye trials.

From the DRS to a number of NEI-supported clinical trials, Dr. Davis applied his usual intellectual rigor at the reading center to establish the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) Classification of diabetic retinopathy severity, a true gold standard that continues to be used decades later in trials of diabetic retinopathy. Similarly, Dr. Davis established the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Classifications of age-related macular degeneration and lens opacities that have also been considered gold standards for studies of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Dr. Davis has also inspired a number of medical students and other trainees to pursue careers as clinician-scientists, participating in the multiple facets of clinical trials.

As a native of Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Davis attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his undergraduate degree and obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Madison where he completed his ophthalmology residency. His training was interrupted by two years of active duty for the US Naval Reserve. Following the completion of his residency, he received training at the Retina Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Davis then returned to Madison, Wisconsin where he quickly rose through the ranks to become the Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1970 to 1986 – during his tenure, the department gained full independent status, expanded residency to accommodate four trainees each year, and added nine more clinical faculty and two basic science researchers. Since 1996, Dr. Davis is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin Medical School-Madison and can still be found at the Fundus Photograph Reading Center most weeks, pursuing his passion.

Dr. Davis has published over 270 papers and book chapters. He has garnered numerous medals and awards in ophthalmology and medicine, including the Mildred Weisenfeld Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Award of Merit in Retina Research from the Retina Research Foundation, the Arnall Patz Medal from the Macula Society, the Alcon Research Institute Award, the Howe Medal from the American Ophthalmological Society, and the Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award.

Dr. Matthew Davis was most recently honored as the 2016 Academy Laureate at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting for his seminal contributions to Ophthalmology including the establishment of gold standards for conducting clinical studies that have had major public health impact on the leading causes of blindness.


The Department of Ophthalmology is established as a standalone department within the UW Medical School.

The National Eye Institute launches the Diabetic Retinopathy Study, the first nationwide collaborative clinical trial, to investigate treatment of diabetic retinopathy by photocoagulation.



Matthew D. Davis led this study because of his experience in evaluating the natural course of the disease. The study provided conclusive evidence that laser photocoagulation reduces the risk of blindness by more than 50 percent in eyes with moderately severe retinopathy; this treatment is now being used throughout the world. He and Professors of Ophthalmology Frank Meyers and George Bresnick also played leading roles in two subsequent NEI-sponsored collaborative trials evaluating treatment at earlier and later stages of retinopathy.


Pediatric Residents in 1970Pediatrics service added as a sub-specialty training program. The ophthalmology program continued its growth and increased to four residents per year.


Dr. Frederick Brightbill Using an Operating Microscope During a Corneal TransplantCorneal and anterior segment service added as a sub-specialty training program.

Frederick Brightbill, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, assumes direction of The Eye Bank.


Dr. Peter A. Duehr retires.


Residents Working AbroadThe International Ophthalmology program is established to provide service and education to underdeveloped countries like Indonesia, India and Philippines.


Dr. Matthew Davis Congratulates Dr. Peter Duhr after he Recieves the 1980 Emeritus AwardProfessors Barbara and Ronald Klein begin their large-scale epidemiological study with the cooperation of 452 physicians in southwestern Wisconsin. The Kleins started with a van equipped as an eye clinic to examine diabetic patients and take retinal photos. The sample set consists of 2,370 of the 10,000 diabetic patients receiving care in an 11 county area of southwestern Wisconsin.

Dr. Peter A. Duehr receives the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association’s 21st Emeritus Faculty Award in recognition of his long and outstanding service to the department.


The “follow up phase” of the Klein’s epidemiological study begins – they continue to track the duration of diabetes, frequency of retinopathy and other genetic factors.

Dr. Suresh Chandra establishes the Combat Blindness Foundation after a teaching trip to India to end preventable blindness all over the world, namely through basic cataract surgery.

A Patient is Examined in India


Dr. Frederick J. DavisThe University Hospital introduces its first helicopter to better serve emergency care patients.

Dr. Frederick J. Davis retires from medical practice.


Dr. John ChandlerDr. John Chandler, a 1965 graduate, becomes the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and is considered one of the outstanding authorities in the field of immune reaction in corneal transplants and anterior segment disease.


Curtis Brandt


Dr. Matthew D. Davis receives the Award of Merit from the Retina and Macula Societies to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to national clinical studies of diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. Chandler leads the charge, with the support and assistance of Dr. Davis, for the Department to double its clinical outpatient facilities at University Station Clinic, and commences an ambitious building program to add more than 8,000 square feet of research space for Ophthalmology, a project completely supported with outside funding. This research space paved the way to recruit basic science faculty in Cell and Molecular Biology.

AAO honors the Department with a Distinguished Service Award to recognize the program’s valuable contributions to medicine by training many excellent ophthalmologists in art, science and ethics.


Dr. George BresnickDr. George Bresnick, a 20-year member of the department’s retina service, assumes the position of acting Chairman of Ophthalmology, as Dr. Chandler moves to Chicago to head the University of Illinois program. Bresnick immediately instituted an innovative approach to improve the efficiency of his administration by appointing Vice Chairs to cover the three major responsibilities of academic ophthalmology – Dr. Thomas Stevens (Clinical Affairs), Dr. Todd Perkins (Education) and Dr. Curtis Brandt (Research).




Dr. Paul Kaufman pushes to change the department’s name to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences to codify its research mission.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Dr. Daniel M. Albert, an internationally recognized ophthalmic pathologist, becomes the first chair without previous ties to Wisconsin or the University.


Dr. Albert successfully completes the research building initiative started by Dr. Chandler by opening the Ophthalmology Research Wing of the Clinical Sciences Center.

Dr. Fred Brightbill and Chris Murphy, DVM, PhD, put on the first annual Resident Phacoemulsification (Phaco) Course at UW-Madison with 12 future physician and veterinary ophthalmologists. This minimally invasive cataract removal technique breaks up the cataract with the use of a ultrasound at the tip of the phacoemulsification pen/handpiece. The only course of its kind in the country provides one-on-one surgical training and has an added benefit of enabling residents to experience the art and science behind both human and animal practice areas and pathology.



Dr. BarryThe department holds its first Vision for the Future conference where more than 150 community members discussed the clinical, research and educational initiatives with faculty.

The Laser Vision Center becomes the only center in the state offering two excimer lasers – the VISX and Chiron lasers – to treat patients with nearsightedness, astigmatism and other eye disorders. Drs. Frederick Brightbill and Neal Barney are certified to teach ophthalmologists throughout the nation on how to use the new VISX laser.

Ronald Klein, MD, PhD, receives the National Eye Education Program Outstanding Achievement Award presented by NEI – recognizing Klein’s role in helping to develop an education campaign about diabetes and glaucoma based on observations from studies that people with these diseases may not be receiving adequate eye care.


Dr. Alice McPherson is Presented an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree by the UWSuresh R. Chandra, MD, receives the 1996 Humanitarian Service Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Chandra received the award for his humanitarian and charitable missions to third world countries with his foundation, Combat Blindness International.

John W. Doolittle, MD, and his sister Helen, bequest a gift that allows the department to recruit Dr. Burton Kushner, a noted pediatric ophthalmologist and researcher, to join the department.

Alice McPherson, MD, president of McPherson Associates of Houston, TX and founder of the Retina Research Foundation, is presented an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the UW.

Bradley M. Lemke, MD and Richard K. Dortzbach ,MD, receive the 1996 Research Award from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) for their joint research paper the preceding year.

James C. Allen, MD, receives the Hands and Heart Award from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for his work at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital in Madison.

Guillermo de Venecia, MD, gives up full-time employment at the UW to spend six months of the year in the Philippines working at the Free Rural Eye Clinics (FREC) he established in 1979, along with Marta de Venecia, RN, his wife and FREC’s treasurer, to help patients in his homeland see.


Four new ophthalmologists are welcomed to the department – Patricia C. Sabb, MD (comprehensive ophthalmologist and assistant professor), Mark J. Lucarelli, MD (assistant professor and oculoplastics surgeon , Barbara A. Blodi, MD, and Justin L. Gottlieb, MD (retinal specialists and assistant professors).

Three long-standing members of the department retire – Frank L. Myers, MD, Ingolf H.L. Wallow, MD and Richard K. Dortzbach, MD.

Paul L. Kaufman, MD, is elected president of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) for 1998-99, the world’s preeminent vision research society.


The Retina Research Foundation of Houston, TX (founded by Alice R. McPherson) establishes two chairs in support of basic vitreoretinal research – the first Retina Research Foundation Alice R. McPherson chair is Curtis Brandt, PhD; the second is Dr. Arthur S. Polans, as the Walter H. Helmerich Chair.

Karen Cruickshanks, PhD, receives the Research to Prevent Blindness Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award for her studies of the epidemiology of age-related ocular disorders, hearing loss and diabetes through ongoing population-based studies.


UW Health East and West Eye Clinics open to provide more access to care to the growing community and better serve patients.

Julie Mares, PhD, receives the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.

The first Macular Degeneration: Progress In Sight Symposium (now called “Age-Related Macular Degeneration Saving Sight Symposium” and presented biannually), in partnership with the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, attracts over 500 people. The symposium provides information on advances in the study and care of age-related macular degeneration, as well as tools and resources for those with vision loss.


Dr. Matthew D. Davis steps down as Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center (FPRC), but continues conducting research. Dr. Ronald P. Danis, a recognized leader in conducting clinical trials at UW, assumes the direction of the FPRC.

Dr. James C. Allen retires from his practice at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital where he trained dozens of residents and helped countless patients across his almost four decades of service. He is then named as professor emeritus upon retirement and continued to be active in the department until his passing in 2011.

Andrew T. Thilveris, PhD, MD, completes his residency and fellowship training at UW-Madison and becomes Chief of Ophthalmology at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital and expands service with new equipment. M. Altwaweel, MD, (specializing in macular diseases and ocular melanoma) and Nader Sheibani, PhD, (actively researching angiogenesis) join the department.

Emeritus Professor Richard K. Dortzbach, MD, is honored with the Wendell Hughes Award at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, as selected by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Curtis R. Brandt, PhD, is awarded the Marjorie Margolin Prize from the Retina Research Foundation, honoring an individual that reaches a milestone in research or clearly established a line of research.

The first optometric continuing medical education (CME) program, Focus on Retina (now called Current Concepts), is presented by Drs. Altaweel, Blodi, Gottlieb, Ip and Stevens.


Wisconsin’s First Lady, Laurie McCallum, works with the department to raise awareness about glaucoma and discusses her experience with the disease.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) announces its results on the effects of vitamin and zinc therapy. UW-Madison was one of 11 sites across the country to see/evaluate patients, the Fundus Photograph Reading Center (FPRC) graded all the photographs taken at all the sites.

Curtis R. Brandt, PhD, receives the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award to support his research on the genetics of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) ocular virulence.


Dr. Albert steps down as Chair in 2002 and Thomas S. Stevens, MD, a Retina specialist who had served as Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs since 1990, becomes Interim Chair – serving in this position until 2004. During his tenure, and overlapping with the Chair who followed, the department actively recruited additional faculty in Pediatrics, Oculoplastics and Cornea.


Dr. David Gamm, the first dedicated stem cell researcher, joins the department, connecting it with other stem cell pioneers at the University of Wisconsin.


Dr. Paul L. Kaufman, a Glaucoma specialist and researcher who joined the Department in 1975, becomesChair after a national search. Dr. Kaufman makes the residency program his top priority during his tenure and successfully leads the effort of re-accreditation by the ACGME, twice.

Consistent with its outreach mission, the Department also establishes the Division of International Ophthalmology, teaming with the Combat Blindness Foundation to provide high quality eye care and education around the world, as well as international experience to its own faculty and residents.

The department ranks within the top-five institutions in the country in research funding from the National Eye Institute.


2005 Graduation


Two Doctors Work TogetherThe department welcomes Cat Nguyen Burkat, MD (oculoplastics), Sarah M. Nehls, MD (cornea and refractive surgery specialist) and Heather A.D. Potter, MD (comprehensive) to its growing team of clinicians.


Congress passes the Dr. James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act (H.R. 797), after seven years of tireless work by Dr. Allen and Congressional Representative Tammy Baldwin, to give veterans greater compensation if they lost vision in one eye during their service and later began to lose vision in the other eye. This was a key to providing the same benefits that veterans received when they lost a limb.


Doctor Examines Patient in IndiaDr. James Allen receives the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts to better veteran care.


Dr. Daniel Knoch receives the Resident Teaching Award, as selected by nine ophthalmology residents.


Dr. Aparna Lakkaraju Looks at a Digital Picture on and EyeDr. David Gamm receives the Foundation Fighting Blindness Board of Directors Award for retinal degenerative disease research, in addition to being honored with the Retina Research Foundation/Kathryn and Latimer Murfee Chair.

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are implemented in the UW Health system after years of development and planning with Epic Systems.

Dr. Aparna Lakkaraju joins the department to further develop her retinal research, specifically in age-related macular degeneration at the cellular level.


Dr. Daniel Knoch Examining a Patient's Eyes Dr. Daniel Knoch is honored with the Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award by the medical school graduating class as the best teacher from their four years in medical school – a highly unique honor, given that Dr. Knoch teaches these students for one week out of all four years of med school.


The Department is integral in bringing a spinning disk confocal microscope to the UW Core Laboratory to allow researchers to see what is happening inside living cells in real time.

Drs. Barbara and Ronald Klein are awarded more than $3-million from the National Eye Institute to continue their long-range study of patients with Type 1 Diabetes. This study has allowed the researchers to understand the role of blood sugar and other factors on complications from diabetes.

Dr. Nansi Jo Colley receives $1.5-million over four years to use fruit flies to study retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, which she has been studying for twenty years.

Dr. Curtis Brandt’s research of the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 inspires GIANTMicrobes to create a stuffed version of the microbe as it appears under the microscope and they are available for purchase at UW Bookstore.


Dr. Daniel M. Albert is presented with the American Academy of Ophthalmology Laureate Award for his extraordinary contributions as a pioneering eye pathologist and researcher, prominent academician, mentor of clinician-researchers and physicians, ethicist, historian and editor of leading journals and key clinical texts.


Dr. Terri YoungTerri L. Young, MD, MBA joins the department, from Duke University after a nationwide search, as the Chair and  Peter A. Duehr Endowed Professor of Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, and Medical Genetics, in addition to being the first woman to hold this position in the department.

Marshall Flax retires from the Low Vision Clinic.


A Doctor in a White Jacket with Four People Next to HerDepartment recognized as national leader in output of publications per faculty out of all ophthalmology programs in the US.

Dr. Matthew D. Davis honored as the 2016 Academy Laureate at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting for his seminal contributions to Ophthalmology including the establishment of gold standards for conducting clinical studies that have had major public health impact on the leading causes of blindness.

Mary Ann Croft honored with one of nine 2016 UW Academic Staff Excellence Awards.


Dr. Paul Kaufman receives the Friedenwald Award at ARVO.Paul Kaufman giving Friedenwald Lecture, 2017


Lucarelli Mission to Argentina

Dr. Mark Lucarelli travels to Cordoba, Argentina to participate in a medical mission.