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Raymond Alan Applegate, OD, PhD, FAAO
Member, Berkeley Optometry Hall of Fame

Raymond Alan Applegate

Raymond Alan Applegate is the second of four children born to K. Edwin Applegate and Elizabeth Ann (Dilts) Applegate. He was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1949 and attended Indiana University from Kindergarten through his Bachelor of Arts (1971), Doctor of Optometry (1975) and his Master of Science in Physiological Optics (1976). He practiced optometry in Galesburg, Illinois before continuing his graduate education in Physiological Optics at the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Tony Adams where he received his PhD (1983).

Ray joined the University of Texas Health Science Center faculty in 1988 from the School of Optometry at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he served as an assistant professor of optometry. He rose through the faculty ranks to become a tenured professor of ophthalmology in 1993. In 2002, Ray joined the faculty of the College of Optometry, University of Houston, as the first Borish Chair of Optometry. Ray retired in early 2022 and is currently Professor Emeritus, College of Optometry, University of Houston.

Dr. Applegate is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Optical Society of America and Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He has served as a feature editor of the journal of the Optical Society of America, Applied Optics, and Optometry and Vision Science on several occasions and has served on the editorial board of the journal of Optometry and Visual Science, the Journal of Refractive Surgery, the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Clinical and Experimental Optometry, and the trade journal Review of Refractive Surgery.

Ray has received the American Academy of Optometry, Glen A. Fry Award (2002), Garland W. Clay Award (2008), Charles F. Prentice Award (2019), Carel C. Koch Award (2020), United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Pearce Medal Award for Innovation (2007), and the Wavefront Congress Founders Award for Visionary Leadership (2019).

He was a cofounder of the International Congress on Wavefront Sensing and Aberration-Free Refraction Correction (more commonly known as the Wavefront Congress), and has served the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology as member of Strategic Long Range Planning (2007), member/chair of the Annual Program Committee Vision Science Section (2012-2013), Board of Trustees Vision Science Section (2014-19), chair of ARVO Committee for selecting Editor-in-Chief of IOVS, JOV, TVST (2015-16), Vice President of the Association (2019), Member, Executive Advisory Board for the Center for Adaptive Optics (2005-2010), Council Member, International Society for Contact Lens Research.

Dr. Applegate is co-editor of two editions of Customized Corneal Ablation: The Quest for Super Vision, Slack, Inc., and is widely published in leading journals (over 130). He is a sought after consultant, and international lecturer whose NIH funded research interests’ center on the optics of the eye. Ray’s PhD work was the first to demonstrate active photoreceptor phototropism based on pupil location. His NIH research was instrumental in moving the refractive surgery industry to abandon radial keratectomy and improve photo-ablative refractive surgery, understanding visual image quality (as opposed to retinal image quality) and improving the vision and quality of life of individuals with highly aberrated eyes by developing and bringing to market wavefront guided hard and soft contact lenses.