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I have been advised by the chairman of our scientific advisory board, who was one of the pioneers in the use of these hormones in ophthalmology that the Federal Government had appropriated some $2 million for research study in ACTH and cortisone, of which probably less than $50,000 was used for research in the application of these hormones in eye disease, as a consequence of which thousands of eyes have already been saved from blindness. Without this Federal grant it is doubtful that this important scientific study would have gone forward as it had. Thanks to Federal aid, we are now on the road to the successful treatment of certain inflammatory diseases of the eye which have been responsible for about 25 percent of all blindness.

Another manifestation of the power of research are reports reaching us currently that a new lead may disclose the cause of the blindness attacking infants born prematurely. These reports, of course, have to await confirmation before they can be accepted as definite. If it is proven however that the cause of this terrible blinding disease has at last been discovered, it will be another testimonial to the value of organized research since the thousands of dollars which have been expended in searching for the cause of retrolental fibroplasia will be repaid by millions of dollars saved in the rehabilitation of such unfortunate infants.

However, the unsolved problems in the field of eye diseases remain manycataract, glaucoma, optic atrophy, detachment of the retina, certain corneal opacities, retinitis pigmentosa-are but a few for which cause and adequate treatment are unknown to science. The specialty of ophthalmology is young, and the ground is fertile for pioneering effort. The unexplored areas are awaiting the initiative and genius of our modern scientists. Those who wish to delve into these unknown fields for the benefit of mankind must be encouraged with adequate financial support, facilities, and equipment. It would be unjust and a tragedy unnecessarily perpetrated on countless thousands to deny this support. The dearth of dollars must not be allowed to stand as a barrier to progress which can mean hope in place of despair, sight instead of blindness.

I repeat, the voluntary agency cannot yet assume this enormous responsibility alone. It can only be met with Federal aid.

Gentlemen, before I conclude and with your permission I should like to be subjective for a few moments. To date I have lost 98 percent of my sight and although I classify myself-and I do this in all modesty-with that group of visually handicapped persons who has been able to make a reasonable adjustment to blindness, carry on a productive life and one in which there is social acceptance. I wish to go on record as saying that there is no substitute for sight nor are there any compensations for the loss of it. I know that I reflect the feeling of the many thousands who, like me, must live in darkness, when I say that there is nothing that anyone so fated, wants more, than the ability to see. If I had been able to reach you at all in my plea for continuing and more commensurate Federal aid to eye research-aid which can mean that countless people will be spared the tragedy of blindness, perhaps my personal loss will have served a useful purpose.

Thank you for allowing me to be heard today. I appreciate this opportunity and am grateful to you for the privilege.

Grant-in-aid awards prior to 1953


Boston City Hospital.

New York Medical College, Flower and
Fifth Avenue Hospitals.
Northwestern University Medical College.

Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, the
Eye Hospital, Oxford University, Eng-

University of Pennsylvania...

Project title

Study into electrical responses of retina and brain
in patients with amblyopia ex anopsia and sup-
Regional light sensitivity of the retina-technique
and theory.

Quantitative measurements of ocular fluorescein
fluorescence in normal and glaucomatous eyes.
Investigation into the normal and abnormal
structures of the vitreous humor by michro-
chemical and histochemical methods.

Virus infections of ocular tissues grafted onto the
choricallantoic membrane of the chick mem-

Retina Foundation, Massachusetts Eye Acid mucopolysaccharides in the vitreous body;
and Ear Infirmary.

University Hospitals, University of Iowa

New York University Post-Graduate
Medical School.

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary...
University Hospitals, University of Iowa..

University of California Medical School.
University of Pennsylvania (continuation).
Government Hospital, Haifa, Israel..
Indiana University Medical School...

New York Hospital, Cornell Medical

New York Medical College, Flower and
Fifth Avenue Hospitals (continuation).
Retina Foundation, Massachusetts Eye
and Ear Infirmary (continuation).
University Hospitals, University of Iowa

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary..
Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia...............-

New York Medical College, Flower and
Fifth Avenue Hospitals.
Stanford University School of Medicine...

University of Louisville School of Medi-

New York Hospital, Cornell Medical

Yale University School of Medicine....

New York Hospital, Cornell Medical

Yale University School of Medicine.....

Indiana University Medical Center..

their role in the composition of the vitreous
body and their relationship to the proteins in
the vitreous gel.

Electrical responses of retina and brain in patients
with amblyopia ex anopsía and suppression.
Attempts to grow the virus of inclusion conjunc-
tivitus, follicular conjunctivitus, and folliculo-

Investigation into the role of focal infection in the
etiology of nonspecific ocular inflammation.
Investigation into the incidence and basic cause
of cataract, hemorrhages, and degenerative
changes in the retina and optic nerve of alloxan
diabetic animals.

Relationship of uveitis to bacterial allergy..
Virus infections of ocular tissues grafted onto the
choricallantoic membrane of the chick embryo.
Investigation into factors affecting new vessel
growth into the cornea.

Study into the mechanism of development of con-
tralateral granulomatous uveitis from the use of
horse serum in rabbits.
Retinopathy in diabetes..

Regional light sensivity of the retina-technique
and theory.

Acid mucopolysaccharides in the vitreous body...

Electrical responses of retina and brain in patients
with amblyopia ex anopsia and suppression.
The possible role of hyperstrinism in the etiology
of retrolental fibroplasia.
Investigation of the intermediary reactions and
the enzyme systems involved in the anaerobic
glycosis of the lens.

Detection of plane polarized light by the human


Visual characteristics of macular and peripheral
retina in amblyopia associated with convergent
and divergent deviation.

Role of estrogenic and androgenic substances on
the retinal vascular pattern in alloxan diabetic
Investigations into the efficacy of certain therapies
in the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa and
other night blinding diseases.

Study of application of ACTH in primary glau


Study into choroideremia..




























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Grant-in-aid and fellowship awards for the fiscal year 1953-54



1. Goodwin, M. Breinin, M, D.

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2. Hermann M. Burian, M. D. (continua- Department of Ophthalmol

tion grant).

3. T. S. Danowski, M. D., and Lawrence
Greenman, M. D.

ogy, University Hospitals,
Iowa City, Iowa.
University of Pittsburgh,
School of Medicine.


Project title

Lay explanation

$1, 620 Neotetrazolium studies in the eye (de- Study of the physiology of the eye to determine under
hydrogenase tracing).

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7. I. C. Michaelson, M. D. (continua- Government Hospital, tion grant).


Haifa, Israel.

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Factors affecting new vessel growth,
particularly in the cornea.

A genetic study of the spherophakia,
glaucoma, brachydactylysyndrome.
Characterization of the virus of
Behcet's disease.

certain abnormal conditions problems relating to
glaucoma, cataracts, and corneal transplantation.
Study of the retinal function by means of electric
responses in relation to defective vision in children
with crossed eyes and in certain diseases of the
retina in children and adults.

The investigator plans to conduct a study into the
factors which affect the development of a certain
type of cataract by inducing the condition in experi-
mental animals through diets high in galactose.
These studies should help to bring information
about the formation of certain types of cataracts
found in infants and growing children.

Study into length and size of the human eye. This
investigation may provide valuable information
with regard to myopia and concerning eyeballs
which develop retinal detachment. It may also
provide information which may give assistance in
determining the need for eyeball shortening in
retinal detachment.

A continued study into the metabolism of the lens to
further clarify method of lens development and
cataract formation.

Study into a widespread parasitic disease in domestic
animals. This disease called toxoplasmosis can be
transmitted from mother to unborn child. This
study may provide the answer to how parents
acquire this type of infection which can produce
encephalitis as well as destructive processes involv-
ing the retina.

This study is concerned with determining more
effective techniques in preventing and healing of
scars in the cornea of the eye.

A study concerned with the hereditary factors in
certain eye diseases, such as abnormality of the
lens, glaucoma and other congenital abnormalities.
This investigation is being conducted by a famous
Turkish eye specialist and is concerned with a
study of a virus which produces a serious blinding
eye disease in which the major problem is a uveitis
of both eyes. This is a disease which also produces
disturbances of the urinary genital system. This
project may prove to be one of the most important
contributions in virology.


Grant-in-aid and fellowship awards for the fiscal year 1953-54-Continued

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Study to improve the safety of X-ray treatment of the eye.

Study into certain structures of the human eye, par-
ticularly the rods and cones, the cells which have
to do with vision in the retina. Investigator also
plans to study certain photo sensitive structures
in lower organisms and plant cells which are capa-
ble of changing light energy to chemical energy
and nerve impulses. This may shed light on
understanding the function of vision and its retinal

The blood serum reaction in patients with sarcoidosis
upon certain blood serum reaction for tuberculosis
and other conditions.

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1 This fellow is being financed by the Michael Tenzer Memorial Fund of the National Council To Combat Blindness.

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The CHAIRMAN. We thank you. Dr. Gordon, I feel terribly embarrassed.

Miss WEISENFELD. Dr. Gordon has asked me to include in the record his statement.

The CHAIRMAN. It will be included in the record at this point. (The statement referred to is as follows:)



Graduate of the School of Medicine, University of Michigan, 1932.

Diplomate of the American College of Ophthalmology.

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Oto-Laryngology.

Fellow of Pan-American Ophthalomological Society.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery (Ophthalmology) Cornell.

University Medical College.

Assistant, attending staff, New York Hospital.

Chairman of the medical board of the National Council to Combat Blindness.

Member of the American Medical Association and New York State and New York County Medical Societies.

Fellow of the American Medical Association.

Consultant to the Council on Pharmacy, American Medical Association.

A pioneer in the introduction of ACTH and cortisone into ophthalmology.
Authority on night-blinding diseases.

Member of the National Advisory Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness Council.

Author of various ophthalmological articles.

Special consultant in ophthalmology to the Surgeon General United States Public Health Service.

The organization of the average medical school eye department in this country has not been conducive to the conduction of a good eye research program, until recently. Since ophthalmology is primarily a clinical subject, most eye departments are headed by part-time clinicians, who (for the most part) are too busy with their private practices to devote much time to their departments or to research programs. Those who are and were desirous of carrying out intensive research projects on a large scale involving ophthalmologists, chemists, physicists and other allied technical skills were (and are) stymied by lack of funds. Most departments still lack adequate funds with which to carry out their necessary teaching programs; and depend upon part-time men who devote their time free. Postgraduate programs are virtually nonexistent in most medical school eye departments excepting for the training of their own immediate house staffs (interns and residents).

During the last decade or so there has been a gradual change in the organizational policies of many medical schools in the direction of building up the socalled minor specialties (eye, ear, nose and throat, dermatology, neurology, etc.) into major departments.

This has involved the gradual replacement (where funds could be found) of part time heads, etc., by full time men and the addition of other full time men; with the concommitant stimulation of subspecialization within the field of ophthalmology. This latter has meant that many well trained men are now devoting themselves to the study of various problems within the broad field of ophthalmology (such as diseases of one part of the eye, the various diseases involving the eye and the brain together, etc.) Since problems and fields tend to overlap this intense concentration on, what appear to be, very small areas within a broad field has actually meant that as one problem is solved, a key has automatically been furnished which may open the door to the solution of a related problem.

As a matter of fact there has been an awakening consciousness of the fact that the eye is part of the whole body and is involved in the ilnesses of the latter. A good example of this is diabetes, a general disease which is high in the list of causes of blindness. One of your own Members of Congress is blind as a result of diabetes. Another example is that the hormones ACTH and cortisone which were brought out for the relief of arthritis have proved more valuable in the treatment of certain blinding eye diseases. It is to the eternal credit of

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