The ASCRS Announces 2019 Ophthalmology Hall of Fame Inductees


FAIRFAX, Va.—The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) has announced that it will induct Howard V. Gimbel, MD, MPH, FRCSC, FACS and the late Phillips Thygeson, MD into the ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, during the ASCRS opening general session of the ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting. Dr. Howard Gimbel is an ophthalmologist and clinical professor at the University of Calgary and Loma Linda University. He is pioneer in out-patient cataract and refractive eye surgery and was the first ophthalmologist in Canada to use phacoemulsification for the removal of cataracts. Gimbel is also the developer of the Divide and Conquer phacoemulsification technique and the co-developer of the Continuous-Tear Capsulotomy technique, which are accepted as international standards of excellence for their safety and effectiveness.

Additionally, Gimbel developed many applications of the Optic Capture technique and others to manage late intraocular lens complications.

Gimbel received his doctorate in medicine and a master's in public health from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He completed his internship and ophthalmology residency at the White Memorial Centre in Los Angeles and began his private practice in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1964. He opened the Gimbel Eye Centre in 1980 and began out of hospital cataract surgery in an oral surgeon's suite. The Gimbel Eye Surgical Centre was opened in 1984 complete with a glass wall between the operating room and an optional family viewing room.

Dr. Phillips Thygeson, the second distinguished American ophthalmologist to receive the Proctor Medal Award of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology, earned his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Thygeson interned at the Colorado General Hospital in Denver, and in 1931, became a diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology.

From 1930 to 1932, Dr. Thygeson was an assistant in ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and served as an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine from 1933 to 1936. He became a professor of ophthalmology at New York’s Columbia University and also served as the director of the Institute of Ophthalmology of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

After active duty in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946, Thygeson became a colonel in the Medical Reserve, U.S. Army. From 1946 to 1948, he was the section chief in ophthalmology, Brand 12, Veterans Administration.

In 1946, Thygeson became a lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of California Medical School. He received his doctorate of ophthalmology and master's degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. He passed away in 2002.

The ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame was created in 1999 to honor pioneers in the field who have laid the foundation for the modern practice of ophthalmology—and to celebrate their contributions and distinguished careers.