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Vincent Michael Patella, OD, FAAO
Member, Berkeley Optometry Hall of Fame

Vincent Michael Patella

Vincent Michael Patella, known professionally as Mike Patella, is an American developer of automated ophthalmic diagnostic devices. He retired from Carl Zeiss Meditec in 2018 after serving as Director of Clinical Research, Director of the Glaucoma Business Unit, Director of New Business Development, and Vice President of Professional Affairs. He continues as a consultant to Carl Zeiss Meditec and other companies, and also as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Patella was born in 1946 and spent his childhood in South Central Los Angeles. He holds bachelor’s degrees in physics from Pomona College, meteorology from Texas A&M University, and vision science from UC Berkeley. He received his OD degree from the UC Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science and practiced optometry part time for twenty years in Walnut Creek, California.

Mike began his career as a US Air Force meteorology officer, and after completing his military service worked as an aerospace engineer on a NASA manned spaceflight project called Skylab. He left aerospace engineering in 1974 in order to enter optometry school in Berkeley, and in early 1975 also joined a Berkeley startup called Humphrey Instruments. Humphrey had been founded that year by Nobel Laureate, Luis W. Alvarez. Humphrey was later purchased by Carl Zeiss and came to be known as Carl Zeiss Meditec.

Dr. Patella worked for more than four decades at Humphrey and Zeiss on the invention and development of automated ophthalmic diagnostic instruments, including automated refractors and lensometers, contact lens fitting devices, perimeters, and automated imaging systems, including the first commercially produced optical coherence tomography system.

Mike and his lifelong collaborators, Anders Heijl and Boel Bengtsson, both of the University of Lund, formed the nucleus of the international team that developed the Humphrey perimeter, beginning in 1982 and continuing for over 40 years. Together, the team invented all applications resident on the Humphrey perimeter during that time.

Together, Heijl, Bengtsson and Patella also have written five editions of the Humphrey Primer, which may be the most widely distributed textbook in all of ophthalmology and optometry. The 2021 fifth edition has been translated into Chinese and Russian. Translations into French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese are under way. In 1999, Mike also co-authored the second edition of Automated Static Perimetry, with Professor Douglas Anderson of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Dr. Patella is a member of the American, European, and Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Societies and co-founded of the Optometric Glaucoma Society. He has been listed as co-inventor on six US and internationally-registered patents. He is semi-retired but serves on the Adjunct Faculty of the University of Iowa’s Department of Ophthalmology and as a consultant to industry.