Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

Catalog Number 17.0002.002
Object Name Plaque
Title XXVI International Congress of Ophthalmology Award
Description Glass. Hexagon. With slant cut for inscription: "National Eye Institute for outstanding contributions to world ophthalmology." On the front is the ICC XXVI Singapore 1990 logo.
Date March 18-24,1990
Accession number 17.0002
Caption XXVI International Congress of Ophthalmology Award
Catalog date 2017-07-03
Catalog type History
Provenance The 26th meeting of the International Congress of Ophthalmology was located in Singapore. At the conference, NEI director Carl Kupfer accepted the award on behalf of his institute.

From "Kupfer, NEI's First Director, Mourned," NIH Record, May 13, 2013: "Kupfer was appointed the first director of NEI in 1970 after the institute was established by Congress. He was also director of the Fogarty International Center at NIH in 1988. In his time at NEI, he served under six NIH directors and six U.S. presidents. He witnessed the NEI budget grow from $24 million in 1970 to more than $450 million in 2000....Kupfer stepped down as NEI director in 2000 at the age of 72 but remained active in vision research by compiling the Cogan Collection, an online series of clinical cases and pathology reports of more than 6,000 patients in honor of his late colleague Dr. David Cogan, a world renowned ophthalmologist. He also wrote the History of the National Eye Institute, 1968-2000, which chronicled the inception of the institute and its growth during his tenure.

Kupfer expanded the NEI research program to include areas such as molecular biology, immunology, neuroscience and molecular genetics. He also supported the visual processing program within the NEI intramural program, which has become a crown jewel of visual neuroscience.

"Basic research also thrived under Kupfer. Investigators identified genes associated with juvenile primary open-angle glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and retinoblastoma. During his tenure as director, the NEI research portfolio grew to include more than 1,600 investigators at universities, medical centers and research institutions around the U.S.

"Kupfer supported public health outreach and oversaw development of the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), a partnership of professional, civic and volunteer organizations as well as government agencies dedicated to educating the public and professionals about eye health. He referred to NEHEP as a crucial bench-to-bedside project, serving as 'a natural extension of our activities in vision research" and "the final step in the research process.'

"His presence in the international ophthalmology community led to numerous appointments, including coordinator for the U.S.-Japan Collaborative Agreement in Vision Research and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Prevention of Blindness at NEI. As president of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness from 1982 to 1990, he increased collaboration among non-governmental organizations involved with blindness prevention with the WHO.

"The Kupfer Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology was named in his honor and awarded to him in 1993, for his honorable public service on behalf of eye and vision research. In 1997, the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology Carl Kupfer Award for Prevention of Blindness was established in his honor to recognize efforts to increase eye care access for poor and underserved communities.

"Kupfer earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1948 and his medical degree in 1952 from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After completing his internship and assistant residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 2 years before returning to the laboratory as a research fellow in ophthalmology at both the Wilmer Eye Institute and Harvard Medical School."
Number of images 1
Updated 2017-10-26
Condition Fair
Organizations NIH; NEI (National Eye Institute)
NIH Property # none
Old NIH Property # none
Serial # none
People Kupfer, Carl