Alan B. Scott, MD

  • Presented: 
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame

Dr. Alan B. Scott has practiced adult and pediatric ophthalmology for more than 50 years and is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in developing and manufacturing botulinum toxin type A (now known as Botox) for therapeutic use in eye muscles. Dr. Scott was the first to use an injectable form of the neurotoxin as a treatment for strabismus, or misaligned eyes due to muscle imbalance. Today, the drug—derived from Clostridium botulinum—is used around the world to treat myriad medical and cosmetic conditions.

In addition to its ophthalmic uses, Botox effectively treats a variety of ailments, from muscle spasms in the face, neck, shoulder, vocal cords and bladder, to excessive sweating and debilitating migraine headaches. But it was during its original ophthalmic applications that its cosmetic use was accidentally discovered: the neurotoxin that paralyzed the extraocular muscles drastically reducedmdash;at least temporarily—the appearance of frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes.

Dr. Scott became director of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in 1982 and remained in the position until 2004. He also served as vice-chair of ophthalmology at California Pacific Medical Center from 1997 to 2006. He is currently a senior scientist at the Strabismus Research Foundation. Dr. Scott has published dozens of articles and papers, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Linksz Medal (International Strabismus Association), the Proctor Medal (Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology), the Parks Silver Medal (American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus), the Lifetime Achievement Award (International Toxin Association), and the Senior Award (American Academy of Ophthalmology).

Dr. Scott received his medical degree at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. He completed his internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, and residencies at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic (neurological surgery) and Stanford University Medical Center (ophthalmology).