Hindsight, 1984: Harry A. Quigley, MD

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Laser in Ophthalmology and Glaucoma Updates were the topics of the NOAO’s 1984 symposium, and one of our distinguished guest speakers was Dr. Harry Quigley.

Dr. Harry Quigley graduated in 1967 from Harvard College and received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha honors.  After completed his ophthalmic residency at the Wilmer Institute, he did a fellowship with Douglas Anderson at the Bascom Palmer Institute.  He returned to Johns Hopkins’ Wilmer Institute after completing his fellowship, rising through the ranks of professorship to become the A. Edward Maumenee Professor of Ophthalmology in 1994, a title that he continues to hold today.  There he directs both the Glaucoma Service and the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology.

Dr. Quigley has participated in the kind of research that has changed how glaucoma is treated around the world.  His research has improved the early diagnosis of glaucoma and has developed instruments and techniques to identify glaucoma damage better, including a suturing technique for trabeculectomy that has been widely adopted.  His investigations have provided evidence of the correlations between the clinical evaluation of glaucoma patients and the histological state of their optic nerves, and he was the first to report long-term success with laser iridotomy.

He has participated in studies of the epidemiology of eye disease and glaucoma in American, African, Asian, and Latino populations and served as ophthalmologist for the Baltimore Eye Survey, the first population-based study of US eye disease.  He, with his colleague Don Zack, has performed the first successful gene therapy experiment to protect retinal ganglion cells from death, and is currently conducting research on progenitor cells derived from adult eyes.

Dr. Quigley has trained 50 glaucoma clinician-scientists worldwide, who will surely follow in his footsteps.  He was a founding member of the American Glaucoma Society in 1985; was elected CEO of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO); and was elected Editor-in-Chief of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, the most prestigious journal in vision research.  He has also published 300 peer-reviewed articles, and his publications were found to be those most cited by his colleagues over the last 30 years.  He has been honored with research awards from various ophthalmological societies, including Research to Prevent Blindness; the Prix Jules Francois from the European Society of Ophthalmology; the Doyne Medal from the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress; the Best Teacher Award from the Chicago Ophthalmological Society; and the Secretariat Award for Distinguished Service from the AAO.

Dr. Harry Quigley is still actively teaching at the Wilmer Institute and is the current director of the Glaucoma Center of Excellence.  The below video is an interview with Dr. Quigley describing his career as a glaucoma specialist.

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