Known as a world expert on treatment of intraocular pressure regulation and neuroprotection of optic nerve
San Francisco – The American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) will present its highest honor – the 2009 Laureate Recognition Award – to Bernard Becker, MD, for his distinguished career and contributions to ophthalmology. Dr. Becker is to be honored with the award on October 25 at this year’s Joint Meeting with the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) in San Francisco.
“Dr. Becker is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in ophthalmic research, clinical care, education and leadership” said Michael Brennan, MD, president of the Academy. “In recognition for his commitment to teaching and education, and for his inspiration and encouragement to his students, we acknowledge the debt we all owe to him for his remarkable achievements.”
Dr. Becker graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School, before completing his ophthalmologic training at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He served briefly on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University before becoming Professor and Head of Ophthalmology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. During a 35-year-tenure (1953-1988) as department chair, Dr. Becker established one of the country’s most outstanding departments of ophthalmology and residency programs, while mentoring scores of individuals, many of whom now serve as department heads or hold other prominent positions in academic ophthalmology throughout the country.
Among Dr. Becker’s many accomplishments, he was highly instrumental in establishing the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the world’s leading organization for ophthalmic research. He served as president of ARVO in 1966 and was the first editor-in-chief of Investigative Ophthalmology (now Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science). In addition to his nearly 400 publications, Dr. Becker also co-authored the first two editions of Diagnosis and Therapy of the Glaucomas, one of the classic textbooks in ophthalmology.
Dr. Becker served as Director of the American Board of Ophthalmology from 1967 to 1974 and was a founding member of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). He also played a vital role in establishing the National Eye Institute, where he has served in a variety of positions.
“Throughout a remarkable career, Bernard Becker has exemplified the ideals of the profession,” said Dr. Brennan. “Few individuals have had as great an impact the field of ophthalmology, with his record of achievement, commitment and integrity.”
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye MDs—with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye MD, who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org