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Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD

  • Presented: 
    2004
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame

USA (B. 1922)

Claes Dohlman earned a doctor of medicine in 1950 at the University of Lund in Sweden and then served as a resident in ophthalmology at the Eye Clinic of the University of Lund. Nearly a decade of research fellowships ensued at Johns Hopkins, Stanford, the Retina Foundation, and the Karolinska Institute, culminating in receipt of a doctorate of medical research from the University of Lund, where Dohlman became an assistant professor. In 1958, he returned to the Retina Foundation as a research associate and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as a fellow in ophthalmology.

In 1959, Dohlman began the Cornea Service in a small room in the infirmary. He became director of the Boston Eye Bank in 1961 and was appointed director of the Department of Cornea Research of the Retina Foundation in 1962. After seven years as an instructor in ophthalmology, his accomplishments were rewarded with promotions to assistant professor (1968), associate professor (1969), and professor (1974) at Harvard Medical School. That same year, Dohlman assumed the positions of chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology of Harvard Medical School, director of the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, and chief of ophthalmology of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Although Dohlman retired from these administrative roles in 1989, he remains active as a member of the infirmary’s Cornea Service, with ongoing clinical, dedicated teaching, and renewed research interests.

Dohlman’s major research interests include corneal hydration, corneal ulceration and wound healing, herpes,the dry eye, and surgical innovations in keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis. He is generally regarded as a founder of modern corneal science.