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  • Laureate Recognition Award

    2022 Laureate Recognition Awardee: Morton F. Goldberg, MD

    Awards Committee

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is pleased to honor Morton F. Goldberg, MD, with the 2022 Laureate Award, the highest honor given by the Academy. It recognizes Dr. Goldberg’s impactful scientific discoveries, visionary leadership and enduring mentorship of ophthalmology trainees. 

    Dr. Goldberg began his illustrious career at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute after graduating from Harvard College magna cum laude and Harvard Medical School cum laude and Alpha Omega Alpha. After completing his residency under Dr. A. Edward Maumenee and then chief residencies at both Yale and Wilmer, he became assistant professor at Yale while also serving in the U.S. Public Health Service. 

    After completing a research genetics fellowship under Victor McKusick, MD, at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Goldberg was recruited as professor and head of ophthalmology at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1970. He assembled a world class faculty, a nationally ranked research program and a top residency program while also building the Lions of Illinois Eye Research Institute. In 1989, Johns Hopkins recruited him as the William Holland Wilmer Professor of Ophthalmology and director of Wilmer Eye Institute. Dr. Goldberg established 17 endowed chairs, expanded Wilmer’s research infrastructure and led the No. 1 ranked ophthalmology program. In 2003, he became the Joseph E. Green Professor of Ophthalmology and director emeritus of Wilmer. His honors include endowed professorships in ophthalmology with his name at both UIC and Johns Hopkins. 

    Dr. Goldberg’s impactful scientific contributions include discoveries related to retinal vascular diseases and ocular genetics. He described the stages of sickle cell retinopathy that remains useful today. His clinical trials established the efficacy of laser treatment for proliferative sickle retinopathy. He co-hosted the Airlie House Symposium on the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy that led to establishing the Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS), on which he was a co-principal investigator. He identified key ocular findings in numerous systemic diseases and genetic conditions (Waardenburg syndrome, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous, autosomal dominant vitreoretinochoroidopathy and the mucopolysaccharidoses). He also established management of vascular retinopathies, ocular trauma and hyphema. 

    He has published 10 books, covering topics from ocular trauma to ocular genetics. A prolific writer, he authored 600 peer reviewed articles and numerous book chapters. A born leader, he served as president of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) and the Macula Society and as head of numerous committees and foundations. For 10 years he was the Archives of Ophthalmology’s (now JAMA Ophthalmology) editor in chief. He originated and chaired the genetics section of ARVO.

    A beloved educator and mentor, Dr. Goldberg is revered for his humble, Socratic and thoughtful teaching style and has effectively trained the next generation of ophthalmologists. His love of teaching, belief in the “ripple effect” and genuine interest in his trainees has garnered him teaching awards at UIC and Johns Hopkins. His trainees are now Academy leaders, chairmen throughout the world and outstanding clinicians and scientists.

    A sought-after speaker, he has delivered 48 named lectures, including the Academy’s Jackson Lecture and the ARVO Weisenfield Lecture. His numerous distinguished awards include the inaugural Ida Mann Medal (Oxford University), Arnall Patz Medal (Macula Society), Professor Isaac Michaelson Medal, Gertrude Pyron Award for Outstanding Achievement in Retina Research (American Society for Retina Specialists), Living the Johns Hopkins Mission Honoree and Lucien Howe Medal (American Ophthalmological Society). He is fittingly listed as one of the 10 greatest living ophthalmologists, 2,000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is honored and delighted to add Morton F. Goldberg, MD to the distinguished list of recipients of the Laureate Recognition Award.