William J. Brunken, PhD, Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Director of the Center for Vision Research, has been elected to serve on the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology's Research Director's Council for five years.
Dr. William J. Brunken was named the Vice Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology.


Meet Our Founder - Robert B. Barlow, Jr. (1939-2009)


Dr. Robert BarlowDr. Robert Barlow was internationally known for his research with the neural basis of visual behavior; computational models of neural coding; and circadian and metabolic modulation of human visual sensitivity.

Dr. Barlow received his doctorate from Rockefeller University in New York City. After Rockefeller, he became a scientist, researcher, and professor at Syracuse University for 28 years until the late 1990s.

In 1996 he joined the faculty at Upstate Medical University. There, he was the driving force that established the Center for Vision Research, a group now that numbers 50 people and is the largest clinically focused research group at Upstate Medical University. His leadership was critical in establishing the SUNY Upstate Foundation's endowment to support vision research and the SUNY Eye Institute, a collaboration of all four SUNY Academic Health Centers performing vision research.

Dr. Barlow had been the recipient of many awards:

  • President's Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research at Upstate Medical University in 2002
  • Senior Scientist Award-Research to Prevent Blindness in 2005
  • State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2007
  • ARVO Gold Fellow in 2009

Dr. Barlow also held leadership positions on several boards, including being a vice president of the board of trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, on the board of trustees of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and a director for the Doreen Grace Brain Center in Mashpee, Massachusetts. He had been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, University of Cambridge in England, and the University of Tsukuba in Japan and had a long list of invited presentations as a lecturer.

Dr. Barlow had been featured in many scientific journals and programs, including Nature Magazine, Discovery Channel and the BBC. His work has also been published in more than 103 scientific papers, and there are five more that will be published posthumously.

Due to Dr. Barlow's thoughtful preparation, his important work on macular degeneration will be continued under the guidance of his colleagues at Upstate Medical University.


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