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  • Guests of Honor

    2021 Guests of Honor Awardee: Don Liu, MD

    Awards Committee

    Dr. Don Liu is professor emeritus in the ophthalmology department at the University of Missouri, where he has served as the director of oculoplastic service since 2001 and as the vice chairman for 10 years.

    Prior to that, he was the director of oculoplastic service at Henry Ford Hospital, University of Southern California Doheny Eye Institute and King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital.

    Dr. Liu received his medical degree from the University of Buffalo after earning a MS degree in physics. He completed his ophthalmology residency in Buffalo and pursued an oculoplastic fellowship under Dr. Orkan Stasior.

    Dr. Liu has published more than 50 papers and dozens of book chapters and abstracts covering a wide range of topics in the field. Outside of his specialty, Dr. Liu has also made significant contributions to basic science research, with the recent publication of a co-authored textbook on laboratory mouse operations. He has served on the editorial board of the American Society of Oculofacial Plastic Surgeons (ASOPRS) journal and has been named among Best Doctors in America and various Who's Who databases.

    An active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Ophthalmological Society and ASOPRS, Dr. Liu was the recipient of the Academy’s Senior Achievement Award and the American Board of Ophthalmology Goodfella Award. In the 1990's, Dr. Liu had the privilege of mentoring the next generation of top ophthalmologists through the ASOPRS-approved fellowship program. He is proud of his fellows’ accomplishments and cites them as his professional claim to fame.

    Dr. Liu is an enthusiastic teacher who trains his students to be not only top physicians, but intellectually curious and model global citizens. His trainees are familiar with his double reading list: one set of required readings in oculoplastics and the other on topics ranging from history, religion, politics to psychology and current affairs.

    Dr. Liu’s service to the profession, both at home and abroad, inspires students to live and learn beyond their comfort zones and to build bridges across cultures. Besides giving lectures as a visiting professor, Dr. Liu has conducted many overseas medical missions and sponsored and trained more than 30 visiting scholars from all over the world. He models his vocation within medicine as just one part of his larger dedication to social justice. Whether it was marching in anti-Vietnam war protests, fighting racism or mobilizing his local community to work for a cause, his activism is a lifelong pursuit that takes on many forms.

    Outside his calling as a physician, Dr. Liu is an avid practitioner of martial arts, a student of three languages, a history buff and a keen musician of the noble hacksaw. He is the proud husband of Helen Liu; father to four children: David, Grace (a pediatric ophthalmologist), Glory and Daniel; grandfather to four grandchildren; and owner of a lot of corgis.

    Dr. Liu was my fellowship preceptor and launched my career as an oculofacial plastic surgeon. I am honored to recognize his influence on my professional life as my AAO 2021 Guest of Honor.