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Ophthalmic Genetics

Faculty and Physicians

Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, MSPH

Chair Emeritus of the Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Thomas Aaberg, Sr. graduated Dartmouth College. His medical degree is from Harvard Medical School (1961) and his residency in Ophthalmology from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He then entered the United States Public Health Service for two years and also graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Master of Science in Public Health before starting an 18-month fellowship in retinal disease and retinal surgery at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami.

His research, with the late Robert Machemer, MD, developed a primate model to study the histopathology of retinal detachment and giant retinal tears. Upon completion of his 18-month fellowship, he became assistant professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Retina Service at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He began a vitreoretinal fellowship training program which became one of the top-rated programs in the country whose graduates currently direct vitreoretinal sections and departments throughout the country.

In January 1988, he was appointed chair of Ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and Phinizy Calhoun, Sr. Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Emory Eye Center. During the subsequent 20 years, until becoming Chair Emeritus, December 31, 2007, Dr. Aaberg developed the Emory Department of Ophthalmology into a nationally respected and highly ranked program in clinical ophthalmology with an extensive scientific faculty. He developed an excellent residency training program, highly ranked in the country together with fellowship programs in eight clinical ophthalmological subspecialties. Dr. Aaberg has personally been involved in the training of 64 vitreoretinal fellows who are in academic or private practice throughout the United States and Canada, including the current chief executive officer of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

He was senior associate editor of the American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO) from 1982-2002, is past president of the Macula Society and past president of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). He is a member or past member of: The American Ophthalmological Society, Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, ARVO, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Medical Association, American Eye Study Club, Pan-American Ophthalmological Society, the Club Jules Gonin, the Retina Society and The American Society of Retinal Specialists (Vitreous Society).

Dr. Aaberg has given 38 named lectureships including the Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture, AAO, 1988; The Hermann Wacker lecture; Club Jules Gonin, 2000; and Schepens Lecture, AAO, 2009. Dr. Aaberg has 151 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has co-authored a textbook on vitrectomy and published 19 book chapters.

His surgical and research activities have been the management of complicated retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy, but he has continued strong interest and involvement in medical retinal disorders. His main career interest, however, has been that of teaching. He has been honored by receiving clinical teaching awards by the residents at the Medical College of Wisconsin and at Emory University School of Medicine, where the annual Clinical Teaching Award was named the Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD Clinical Teaching Award in 2006.

Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, MSPH

Medical School
Harvard Medical School

Minneapolis General Hospital

Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary

Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami

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