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Zee, David

Zee, David

Professor of Neurology

Joint Appointments in Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology,
Head & Neck Surgery, and Neuroscience

The Wilmer Eye Institute
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

David Zee came to Johns Hopkins as a medical student in 1965 and has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Faculty since 1975. He is currently a Professor of Neurology with joint appointments in Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and Neuroscience. He specializes in vertigo, dizziness and imbalance (including ataxia) and in disorders of eye movements (including nystagmus and strabismus) and of balance (including ataxia). He combines clinical practice and teaching with both basic and clinical research. A major research interest is learning and adaptation -- how does the brain (and especially the cerebellum) compensate for disease, and how can compensation be promoted. The research strategy is to combine the techniques of the bioengineer and experimental physiologist, to understand the function of the brain more clearly, and to diagnose and rehabilitate neurological patients more effectively. Training physicians and scientists in ocular motor and vestibular physiology and their clinical implications is another focus of this program. Dr. Zee is the director of the Vestibular/Eye Movement Testing Laboratory at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Zee sees patients by referral in the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. Appointments may be scheduled by calling his secretary (Ms. Rebecca Scholz) at 443-287-4625.

Education and Training:

  • 1965, B.A., Chemistry, Northwestern University, Chicago,IL
  • 1969, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • 1969-70, Intern in Medicine, New York Hospital, New York, NY
  • 1970-73, Resident in Neurology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • 1973-75, National Institutes of Health, Clinical Associate

Current Appointments:

  • Professor of Neurology, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ophthalmology and Neuroscience
    The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Active Staff, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Honors and Awards:

  • 1967-68, Henry Strong Denison Scholar, The Johns Hopkins University
  • 1975, Teacher-Investigator Award, National Institutes of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke
  • 1979, Inaugural Frank R. Ford Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching of Neurology (also 1994)
  • 1980, Research Career Development Award, National Eye Institute
  • 1980, First Visiting Professor of Neurologic Education, Mayo Clinic
  • 1986, J. L. Silverside Lecture, University of Toronto, Toronto.
  • 1989-93, Visual Sciences B, N.I.H. Study Section, Chairperson, 1992-93
  • 1987, Merit Award, National Eye Institute, N.I.H., 1987-1997
  • 1992, Morris Bender Lecture, Mt. Sinai Medical School, New York
  • 1992, Jerome Merlis Lecture, University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  • 1993, Prince Lecture and Visiting Fellow, Northwestern University, Chicago.
  • 1993, J. Clifford Richardson Lecture, Canadian Neurosciences Congress, Toronto.
  • 1993, Research to Prevent Blindness Manpower Award
  • 1994, Hallpike-Nylén Medal of the Bárány Society, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 1994, Ottorino Rossi Award and Medal of the University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • 1995, Inaugural Swithin Meadows Lecture, National Hospital, Queen Square,London
  • 1996-99, Member, National Advisory Eye Council, N.I.H
  • 1997, Norman Allen lecture, Ohio State University Medical School, Columbus
  • 2002, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professor's Award for Distinction in Teaching in the Clinical Sciences
  • 2003, Inaugural Houston Merritt Lecture, American Academy of Neurology
  • 2005, Inaugural Alfred Kestenbaum Lecture, University of Wurzburg, Germany.
  • 2006, ‘Brain’ lectures (National Hospital, Moorefield’s Eye Hospital, Charring Cross), London, UK.
  • 2006, Hartwell Thompson Lecture, University of Connecticut, Hartford.
  • 2008, McNally Lecture, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, November
  • 2009, Guy Williams lecture, Cleveland Clinic, September.
  • 2009, ARVO Fellow
  • 2010, Morris Bender Lecture, Mt. Sinai Medical School, New York.
  • 2012, Lord Adrian Lecture, Cambridge University, UK.
  • 2012, Michael Sanders Lecture, Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK.
  • 2012, Irwin Levy lecture, Washington University, St. Louis


  • 1976, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Research Activities:

Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator:

  • N.I.H. Oculomotor Disorders: Clinical and Experimental Study, (1976-2012) R01-EY01849, Principal Investigator
  • N.I.H. MRI induced Vertigo (2011-2013) R21-DC11919, Principal Investigator
  • N.I.H. Ocular Motor Adaptation in Health and Disease (2008-2013) R01-EY019347, Co-investigator

Read Dr. Zee's CV

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