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Looking Back: Fall 2021

Looking Back: Fall 2021

“Marine invertebrates and diseased human retinal arteries and veins have little in common except for their instantly recognizable and similar configurations,” noted Wilmer Director Emeritus Morton Goldberg, M.D., in explaining how he came to name the blood vessel malformation pictured in the image on the left.

“Years ago, I noted a blood vessel disease in human baby eyes with congenitally abnormal arteries behind the lens. I called the entire syndrome ‘persistent fetal vasculature.’ To me, the malformation resembled the ruby brittle star, Ophioderma rubicundum, which looks like a skinny red starfish, so I included it in my published Jackson Memorial Lecture for the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1997.” The moniker stuck. “Amazingly, [it] has become universally used since 1997,” he added.

Giving the Jackson Memorial Lecture marks the speaker as a premier ophthalmologist. Wilmer faculty members, past and present, who have given the lecture include Stuart Fine, Jonas Friedenwald, Morton Goldberg, Douglas Jabs, A. Edward Maumenee, Neil Miller, Arnall Patz, Harry Quigley, Al Sommer, Alan Woods and, most recently, Michael Repka, in October 2020.

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