Two to receive American Academy of Ophthalmology's Distinguished Service Award

August 22, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO - The American Academy of Ophthalmology announced its two Distinguished Service Award recipients for 2003. They are Gavin S. Herbert and J. Donald M. Gass, MD. Both will receive their awards at the opening ceremonies of the Academy's Annual Meeting, November 16, 2003, in Anaheim, Calif.

Mr. Herbert, of San Clemente, Calif., is chairman emeritus and director of Allergan, Inc. He is being honored for his many years of service to ophthalmology and the Academy and for his contributions as a leader and community educator. He co-founded Allergan with his father in 1950 and served as its chairman and CEO for 30 years. Mr. Herbert is a life trustee of the University of Southern California, and has created two chairs that benefit ophthalmology - one that focuses on macular degeneration, and the other, in the pharmacy school, for ocular pharmacology. He also serves on the boards of directors of Research to Prevent Blindness, the Doheny Eye Institute, EyeCare America Foundation and is a member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

Dr. Gass, of Nashville, Tenn., is being honored for his contributions to the advancement of ophthalmology as a professor, role model and mentor. He is held in highest regard of his colleagues for his dedication to training future ophthalmologists during his tenure at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. He also is one of the world's greatest authorities on medical management of retinal diseases and has written two books that have become classic standards - Stereoscopic Atlas of Macular Diseases and A Fundoscopic and Angiographic Presentation and Differential Diagnosis of Intraocular Tumors, a Stereoscopic Presentation. In addition, he has authored 12 book chapters and more than 260 articles in peer-reviewed journals, many of which are regarded as landmark contributions. Dr. Gass has delivered more than 30 named lectureships, including the Academy's Jackson Memorial Lecture. He also has received numerous awards, such as the Lucien Howe Medal of the American Ophthalmologic Society, the Award of Merit from the Retina Research Foundation of the Retina Society, and the Helen Keller Prize from the Helen Keller Foundation. He also has had a Macula Society lectureship and medal named in his honor, The Gass Medal for Outstanding Contributions in Macular Disease. Although retired, Dr. Gass continues to teach and see patients at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons - Eye M.D.s - with more than 27,000 members worldwide. For more information about the Academy's Annual meeting, visit

American Academy of Ophthalmology

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