“Dr. Patz is a most unusual individual, both because of his tremendous research in many areas but also because of his personality and kindness to people.”
—Irvin P. Pollack, MD
The brilliant career of Arnall Patz was launched when, as young resident in ophthalmology at the District of Columbia General Hospital, he suspected oxygen had a role in the alarming number of retrolental fibroplasia cases among premature infants. Undeterred by opposition, Patz conducted clinical trials that showed he was correct. His work saved the sight of an untold number of newborns and won him the prestigious Lasker Award. This early work led to his interest in diabetic retinopathy and, in the late 1960s, he pioneered the use of the argon laser to treat retinopathy. He performed one of the early controlled clinical trials and pushed for their expansion in ophthalmology. He was director of the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University from 1979 to 1989 and proved himself a gifted teacher and clinician.