William Mieler appointed chairman of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago

May 26, 2004

William F. Mieler, M.D., an expert on treatment of diseases of the macula, retina and vitreous, as well as medical and surgical management of eye injuries, has been appointed professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Chicago effective April 15, 2004. Mieler comes to Chicago from the Baylor College of Medicine, where he was professor of ophthalmology in the Cullen Eye Institute from 1999 to 2004.

"William Mieler has an impressive record as a physician interested in all types of eye disease, as a researcher involved in the testing new therapies, as an author who has collected and summarized what we know and what we need to know about eye disease, and as a leader of the field's professional organizations," said James Madara, M.D., Dean of the Pritzker School of Medicine and the Biological Sciences Division and Vice President for the Medical Center at the University of Chicago. "We are proud to have someone with such broad skills and professional renown to take over leadership of this distinguished department."

Mieler, 50, earned his B.S. in 1975 and his M.D. in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He completed residency training in ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, in 1983, followed by fellowships in retina-vitreous at The Eye Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and in ocular oncology at the Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia. He joined the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 1986 and quickly rose through the ranks to become the Klieger Professor of Ophthalmology before he moved to Baylor's Cullen Eye Institute in 1999.

Dr. Mieler is the author or co-author of more 250 peer-reviewed publications, and 40 book chapters. He is a member of the editorial board of Archives of Ophthalmology and RETINA. He has also served as section editor for “Retinal Surgery” in Ophthalmic Surgery: Principles & Practice (Blackwell) “Ocular Trauma” in Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology, and “Vitreous” in the American Medical Association's Clinical Atlas. He edited two textbooks slated for release later this year: Ocular Trauma and Emergencies: Medical and Surgical Management, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

A director of the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) since 1998, Mieler is the vice-chair of the ABO for 2004 and will serve as chairman in 2005. He served as president of the Macula Society in 2002-04. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Retina Specialists, and the Pan-American Association.

He has received many honors including the Lifelong Education for the Ophthalmologist Continuing Education Recognition Award (2000), and the Senior Honor Award (2001) from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Honor Award (1997) and Senior Honor Award (2001) from the Vitreous Society. Since 1995 he has been consistently recognized as one of the "Best Doctors in America," and in 2002-03 the Consumers' Research Council of America selected him as one of "America’s Top Ophthalmologists."

Mieler will succeed Terry Ernest, M.D., Ph.D., the Cynthia Chow Professor of Ophthalmology. Ernest served as chairman of the department from 1985 to 2004. In 1997, he led a team that performed the first fetal-tissue transplant as an experimental treatment for age-related macular degeneration. That fall, Time magazine designated Ernest a “Hero of Medicine” for his pioneering efforts to find a better therapy for this common eye disease.

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