The Hamilton Eye Institute at UTHSC Hosts Annual Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture

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The Ridley Medal
The Ridley Medal

On Thursday, Oct. 23, the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will host its thirteenth annual Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship for Creativity and Innovation in Medicine and Ophthalmology. The event, which is open to the public, will be held in the Freeman Auditorium at HEI, 930 Madison Avenue, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Robert Osher
Dr. Robert Osher

The keynote speaker will be world-renowned cataract surgeon Robert H. Osher, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the College of Medicine of the University of Cincinnati and medical director emeritus of Cincinnati Eye Institute. Dr. Osher designed many of the intraocular lenses and instruments that are used in contemporary cataract surgery, one of the most-performed surgical procedures today. Roughly 3 million Americans have cataract surgery each year.

Dr. Osher has received the highest honors from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, as well as the highest honor given to a cataract surgeon by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has produced more than 250 videos and peer-reviewed articles, is the editor of several video and print publications, and has served on the editorial boards of more than six journals.

The Ridley Visiting Professorship was created by Jerre M. Freeman, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology at UTHSC, to celebrate the careers of people who have been leaders in changing the face of American medicine. The keynote speaker receives the “Ridley Medal” for exemplifying the ideals of creativity, innovation, perseverance and productivity.

The professorship is named for Sir Harold Ridley, an English surgeon who achieved the first implant of an intraocular lens, beginning the revolution that became modern cataract surgery. While working with the Royal Air Force casualties during World War II, Dr. Ridley noticed that splinters of plastic or glass from aircraft cockpit canopies that became lodged in the eyes of wounded pilots did not trigger a reaction. That led him to propose the use of an artificial lens in the eye to correct a cataract. In 1949, Dr. Ridley achieved the first implant of an intraocular lens, and the following year, he left an artificial lens permanently in place in an eye.

For more information, go to uthsc.edu/eye or call (901) 448-5883. To RSVP, call (901) 448-5492.

Founded in 2004, the Hamilton Eye Institute consistently ranks among the top 10 providers of ophthalmic clinical care across the country. Its mission is to prevent blindness through patient care, research and education. As a premier eye center providing an advanced level of vision care, the institute’s team manages more than 40,000 outpatient visits annually and attracts patients from throughout the region and the world. HEI is the only university eye center providing an advanced level of vision care within a 150-mile radius of Memphis.