Celebration Profiles — December 4-8
In honor of our centennial anniversary, we are featuring members of our optometry community — past and present — each day of 2023!
See below for this week’s profiles.
This Week, We Are Celebrating…
Lee A. Goldstein, OD, MPALee Goldstein is a graduate of the Doctor of Optometry (OD) class of 1966. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, he attended Occidental College. He was the Gold Retinoscope awardee in his class and one of four members of the class (including Warren DeHaan, Ron Grand, and Cliff Schor) who were elected to Phi Beta Kappa during their time in the School of Optometry. He worked as a laboratory assistant to Gerald Westheimer studying retinal inhibition and also helped maintain the clinic’s equipment. Dean Morgan and the entire faculty were very encouraging to students who really wanted to learn about Optometry and vision science. They were my mentors in school and many after as well.
Lee grew up an “optometry family”. His father, Edward, was a 1953 graduate of the Los Angeles College of Optometry. As a high school student, he worked in the office. He joined his father in practice upon graduation from Berkeley Optometry. Their practice grew exponentially over the years. While it was a general community-based practice, patients with a need for specialty contact lens care, high refractive errors, and comprehensive services and co-management were a significant part of the practice. For 40 years, there never were less than 3 generations of the family working in the office.
The world of health care was changing in the mid-1960s, and Optometrists needed to be included. While practicing full time, Lee obtained a graduate degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Sothern California and was at doctoral student at the UCLA School of Public Health. Volunteering in the profession and the community has been a major part of Lee’s life. He served on the Optometry School Alumni Association board and on development support committees.
He served on the California Optometric Association board, was COA president, and helped modernize the board and management practices for the association. He chaired the study committee which included Dean Tony Adams, that documented and verified the effectiveness of Optometrists in treating ocular disease. He served on the University’s Optometry School Dean selection committee in 2000-2001.
In 2003, he was selected by the Governor to serve on State Board of Optometry and was president of the board from 2006- 2012 and chaired the Enforcement Committee for 9 years. His optometric involvement has included helping to create, legislate and implement significant scope of practice enhancements for California Optometry. That included working closely with all the schools of Optometry in California.
A proponent of ODs “getting a life”, his volunteer involvement extends beyond optometry and includes leadership in many community organizations and commissions. As Red Cross volunteer for many years, he served as State Chairman, Regional liaison to the chapters in the Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Guam, Northern Marianas and American Samoa), and a member on the American Red Cross-National Board of Governors (1999-2005) including service on the Chapter- Disaster Services Committee and as a facilitator of the Chapter Chair Institute. He is a Berkeley Optometry “Alumnus of the Year”, a COA “Optometrist of the year” and was recognized by the COA as a Distinguished Member which included “Outstanding Constituent Service”.
“Being associated with the School of Optometry for 60 of its 100 years, besides reinforcing that I am old, does give me some perspective on the progress and change that has occurred in the profession and society and perhaps most importantly on the value and importance of what Optometrists do for people and communities. I am hopeful that UC Berkeley and the School of Optometry will continue their important role in education and service.”
Beatrice Le, BSBeatrice is a vision science PhD student at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. Beatrice was born and raised in the Bay Area Peninsula. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Microbial Biology and a minor in Data Science. Throughout her undergraduate years, she conducted research in both Dr. John G. Flannery’s and Dr. Eoin Brodie’s labs, contributing to the development of novel gene therapies for inherited retinal degenerations, and informing models centered around microbial traits, dynamic energy budgets, and omic data from soil research, respectively.
Additionally, she gained valuable industry experience as a research assistant at Avail Bio Inc. Her belief is that exploring vision from various perspectives will facilitate a profound comprehension of how to approach the design of vision restoration therapies. Beatrice is motivated to study existing challenges in the gene therapy and vision space, in both a molecular and behavioral capacity, and work towards finding better solutions to fighting blindness. After completing her degree, Beatrice’s intention is to pursue an academic career path, aiming to ultimately become a research professor. Beatrice’s hobbies include painting, indoor plant collecting, following NBA Warriors games, cooking, and baking.
Landen Longson, BSLanden is a third-year optometry student and a past Berkeley Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) president (2022). He grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and earned a BS in Biology at the University of Utah before moving to the Bay Area. As he’s deciding where he wants to specialize and which mode of practice he wants to be involved in, he never wants to lose sight of how much of an impact he can make through volunteering. Landen plans on utilizing his optometric knowledge and passion as a student and future provider to bring high-quality eye care to underserved communities throughout his life. Landen enjoys trail running, reading, golfing, camping, snowboarding, and cooking. He loves everything that UC Berkeley and the Bay have to offer.
Donald Mutti, OD, PhD, FAAO, FARVODonald Mutti was born in 1954 in San Mateo, California. His father, a CPA and a 1939 Cal graduate, was a government contract auditor for the Defense Contract Audit Agency. This government service meant a few moves during his early education, the most important being a formative year spent in Paris during the fourth grade. His mother was a 1943 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, but Cal also figured into her life after raising five children as she completed her graduate training there to become a licensed marriage and family counselor.
Mutti attended the University of California, Davis after graduating from Acalanes High School in 1972. Besides his parents, teachers were always his inspiration. Reading the great books and discussing life made teaching high school English seem like the right career, up until student teaching provided a reality check. His veterinarian brother pointed Mutti toward optometry given his equal fascination with books and vision due to his childhood strabismus, treated by none other than Dr. Art Jampolsky. Meeting up with Dr. Jampolsky again at Cal as an adult provided a memory of a lifetime.
After graduating from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 1982, Dr. Mutti worked in the contact lens industry at CooperVision Ophthalmic Products for the next six years as a research optometrist. What started out as a summer job turned into the start of a career in research — and a lifelong friendship with his boss, Dr. Ron Seger. Testing new materials and designs for their suitability for patients taught Mutti the power of research. Patient care helps one person at a time, but putting patient findings together as research data can translate into knowledge that may benefit thousands. It also introduced him to people like Brien Holden, giants in contact lenses and optometric research. When corporate restructuring and corneal ulcers became issues for CooperVision in the late 1980s, Dr. Mutti started his graduate training in Physiological Optics under the mentorship of Dr. Anthony Adams.
No less an inspiring teacher, Dr. Adams thought there was an opportunity to study myopia in Orinda schoolchildren thanks to suggestions from local optometrist Dr. Weylin Eng. While in optometry school, Mutti and Dr. Karla Zadnik had completed a senior thesis together studying myopia in law students at Boalt. With Zadnik beginning her graduate training at the same time as Mutti, Tony Adams put the team back together and the Orinda Longitudinal Study of Myopia was born. Funded by the National Eye Institute, the study ran for 21 years from 1989 to 2010, eventually becoming a nationwide effort with five clinics studying nearly 5,000 children as the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error. This monumental effort resulted in a simple prediction model for the risk of onset of myopia based on refractive error that echoed the findings from the 1960s of former dean Dr. Monroe Hirsch. It also provided the first large-scale, longitudinal evidence of the protective effect of time outdoors reducing the risk of the onset of myopia. This simple environmental intervention has already been adopted in Asia with proven positive results.
Mutti’s other research accomplishments include the Berkeley Infant Biometry Study, an eight-year evaluation of ocular component development and emmetropization in infants. This study provided important insights into emmetropization signals originating from accurate accommodation in infants rather than from the traditional view of the influence of hyperopic defocus. New screening and treatment options for hyperopic infants will likely come from this work. After becoming faculty at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1999, E.F Wildermuth Foundation Professor Dr. Mutti teamed up with UCB optometry alumnus and Gold Retinoscope winner Dr. Jeff Walline and University of Houston colleague Dr. David Berntsen to complete the NEI-funded Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) randomized clinical trial of myopia control.
Dr. Mutti has been honored for his research by the American Academy of Optometry with the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish award, and the Glenn A. Fry Lecture award, for his teaching with several awards from students at Ohio State, and by the UC Berkeley School of Optometry as Alumnus of the Year in 2011.
Eloisa Morfin, BSEloisa is currently a fourth-year optometry student at UC Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science. Eloisa grew up in small-town Lakeport, located in Northern California. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Sonoma State University. Eloisa’s journey into optometry started at the age of 16 when she began working as an optometric technician. Her extensive background in eye-care spans various facets, including patient care, product development, marketing, and social media.
Within the Berkeley Optometry community, Eloisa has taken on several roles, including as a Student Intern in the Communications Department. Her role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, ranging from improving the school website, contributing to the annual school magazine, and helping with marketing various school events. She spearheaded social projects such as creating “Day in the Life” YouTube videos and organizing Instagram takeovers featuring different students. Additionally, Eloisa served as a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Student Council. Her role includes featuring Berkeley Optometry students during cultural heritage months and sharing their stories on both social media platforms and the school website. For the past four years, Eloisa has also held the position of Class Career Representative. In this role, she shares insight into her passion for business and career development. Her initiatives include hosting LinkedIn workshops, facilitating networking and job opportunities, and coordinating professional headshot sessions for her classmates. Eloisa’s fourth year includes various clinical rotations at Marin Community Clinic, West Oakland Community Clinic, UCSF, Stanford Byers Eye Institute, and Miami VA.
In her free time, you can catch her cheering on the Warriors, traveling, trying new restaurants and recipes, and spending time with her family, friends, and niece. After graduation, Eloisa plans on practicing in the North Bay while also working in industry product development. She aspires to fulfill her lifelong goal of owning her own practice one day, a dream inspired by her parents.Back to Archive Celebrating Our Community Return to Main Centennial Page