The History of the University of Louisville
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences —A Legacy of Groundbreaking Eye Care, Education & Research

This is where collaboration and innovation meet –where the top talent is inspiring the next generation of eye doctors.

This is where collaboration and innovation meet –where the top talent is inspiring the next generation of eye doctors.

historyOphthalmology and eye research have a proud history at the University of Louisville, one that spans decades—even centuries—to the Department of Ophthalmology’s modest beginnings in 1837. But it wasn’t until 1962, under the chairmanship of Dr. Charles Dwight Townes, M.D., that the department truly began to blossom.

It was under Dr. Townes’ leadership that the department made a concerted effort to enhance the basic research program. The faculty was expanded to include senior investigator Hugh Davson, DSc, from the University College in London, who joined the staff as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ophthalmic Research. With Dr. Davson came his ingenious instrument maker, Charles Purvis. Dr. Townes also recruited the first full-time clinician and executive director of the department, Dr. Roderick McDonald. This renewed focus on research led to one of the most important factors in the department’s growth—the vital partnership with the Lions of Kentucky.