EMORY EYE CENTER DIRECTOR AABERG RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL
ATLANTA - Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, the F. Phinzy Calhoun Sr. Professor
and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology in the Emory School
of Medicine, has received the prestigious Hermann Wacker Prize at this
year's conference of Club Jules Gonin held in Taormina, Sicily, on Sept.
6. As recipient of the Wacker Prize, Dr. Aaberg also was the guest lecturer
for the conference.
Club Jules Gonin, an international group of specialists in diseases
of the retina and vitreous, meets every other year. Its membership is
highly selective with only a few hundred members worldwide. Jules Gonin
was a Swiss ophthalmologist living in the early 1900s who first discovered
that retinal detachments were due to retinal tears. He published a benchmark
book on how to repair retinal detachment in 1928, and his reputation
was such that Americans went to Switzerland to study with him at that
Hermann Wacker, a now deceased German industrialist, donated money
for the Wacker prize, which is presented every other year to acknowledge
significant contributions to world ophthalmology.
"This is a very prestigious award for a truly outstanding clinician,
teacher and administrator at Emory University," says Emory School of
Medicine Dean Thomas J. Lawley, MD. "We celebrate the occasion of this
well-deserved recognition to Dr. Thomas Aaberg Sr., a much beloved faculty
member, physician and leader at Emory."
A retina specialist of international renown, Dr. Aaberg pioneered surgical
techniques for retina and vitreous disorders that are used by ophthalmologists
worldwide. He joined the Emory Eye Center in 1988 and is responsible
for building the center to its current stature as one of the country's
top eye centers with national rankings, treating more than 70,000 patients
During his watch, the Emory Eye Center has been ranked as one of the
country's 10 best eye centers in U.S. News & World Report's July 17,
2000 issue, the seventh year in a row that the center has been ranked
in its report. Additionally, the center is one of the top ten NIH-funded
eye research institutions in the U.S., with total grant funds of close
to $6 million.
Ophthalmology Times, a news magazine for ophthalmologists, recently
included the Emory Eye Center in the top 10 of several of its national
categories including "Best Overall Programs," "Best Research Programs"
and "Best Residency Programs."
Dr. Aaberg earned his medical degree with honors at Harvard Medical
School. He interned at Minneapolis General Hospital and served his residency
at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. He served fellowships
at Harvard and at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University
of Miami School of Medicine.
Prior to his Emory appointment, Dr. Aaberg served on the faculty of
Harvard Medical School, University of Oklahoma Medical School, University
of Miami School of Medicine and at the Medical College of Wisconsin,
where he last served as professor and vice-chairman of the Department
of Ophthalmology. The recipient of numerous research awards, grants
and fellowships, he has published articles, presented papers and honorary
lectures for more than three decades.
Dr. Aaberg is currently the president of the Association of University
Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). He holds memberships in the American
Academy of Ophthalmology, where he is a diplomate, the Association for
Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology
and Otolaryngology, the Macula Society (past president) and the Pan
American Ophthalmological Society, among others.