Joseph Colin received his MD in 1977 from Brest University, where he also started his ophthalmology residency and fellowship, later extended to Nantes University. He was promoted to professor of ophthalmology and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Brest University Medical School. His topic was anterior segment and mainly cornea, with two main research areas of interest: infections (herpetic simplex keratitis) and keratoconus. He was the first to suggest the use of intracorneal segments in the correction of keratoconus. He was also investigator in phakic IOLs and cataract surgery. In 2000, he arrived at Bordeaux University Medical School as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, where one of his major accomplishments was the establishment of the Keratoconus Research Center and the basic science laboratory research and femtosecond laser technology, headed by Dr. David Touboul.
Dr. Colin participated in most of the European and international organizations of cornea and anterior segment, particularly at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and at the International Society of Refractive Surgery. He was also president of the French National University Council for Ophthalmology (1995-2003), president of the French Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (SAFIR) (2009-2011) and the French Ophthalmological Society (SFO) (2005-2008). He also served on the editorial boards of Journal of Refractive Surgery, Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, European Journal of Ophthalmology and Journal Français d'Ophtalmologie.
Among his international recognitions, Dr. Colin received the 1998 Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Binkhorst medal in 1990 and the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in December 2011.