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Sommer, Alfred

Alfred Sommer, M.D., M.H.S.Dean Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Professor of Ophthalmology, Epidemiology, & International Health

The Wilmer Eye Institute
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine                            

Dr. Sommer is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dean Emeritus and professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He was the founding Director (1980-1990) of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins, which focuses on clinical epidemiology and public health aspects of blindness prevention and child survival.

Sommer received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School (1967) and his Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Hygiene (1973).

Sommer's current research interests include outcomes assessment; clinical guidelines; the screening, diagnosis and management of glaucoma and other blindness prevention strategies; and cost containment. He demonstrated the impact of vitamin A deficiency on childhood blindness and mortality in developing countries. His newest efforts concern the growing interface between medicine and public health. As founding chair of the Public Health and Quality of Care Committees, Sommer led the development of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's pioneering series of clinical guidelines, Preferred Practice Patterns.

Sommer has chaired (or chairs) the World Health Organization's Program Advisory Group on Blindness Prevention, the National Institute of Health's  "National Eye Health Education Program;" the Steering Committee of the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG) and its successor program, the Micronutrient Forum; the Scientific Advisory Board of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation; and the Quality of Care and Public Health Committees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He was President of the International Federation of Eye Banks and has served (or serves) on the Board of Directors of the National Society to Prevent Blindness; the Executive Committee of Tissue Banks International; the Executive Board of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness; the Scientific Advisory Committee of Research to Prevent Blindness; the International Council of Ophthalmology's Advisory Board, as well as its Foundation's Board of Directors, amonst other health and blindness institutions.  Sommer is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.  He chairs the Board of the Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation and chairs the Vision Science Award Jury of the Champalimaud Foundation.

Sommer has published five books and 250 scientific articles. Jis many honors include, among others, the Lasker Award for Clinical medical Research, the How Medal if the American Ophthalmologic Society, the Duke Elder Medal and the Gonin Medals of the International Council of Ophthalmology, the Prince Mahidol Award for Contribution to Medicine and Public Health (from the King of Thailand), and the Helmut Horten, Charles A. Dana, and Pollin Prizes for medical research.

Current Address:

Dean Emeritus and Professor, Epidemiology, Ophthalmology, and International Health
Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health
615 N. Wolfe Street, Suite E6527
Baltimore, MD 21205

Phone: (410) 502-4167
Fax: (410) 502-4169

Read Dr. Sommer's CV


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