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To start our school’s 101st year, we are featuring a final profile in our year-long recognition of the optometry and vision science community.

This Week, We Are Celebrating…

January 12th, 2024

John G. Flanagan, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, FARVO

Dr. John G. Flanagan is the eighth and inaugural Dean and Professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of California, Berkeley.

He graduated in Optometry and Vision Sciences from Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 1980, where he later earned his PhD in 1985. Until 2014 he was Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo and in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada, where he was Director of the Glaucoma Research Unit, Toronto Western Research Institute and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network.

He has held continuous federal research funding for over 34 years (MRC/CIHR/CHRP/ORF/NIH), with additional research funding from the BrightFocus Foundation, the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada and the Glaucoma Research Foundation. He has supervised 46 graduate students and has authored over 180 peer-reviewed publications. In addition, he has 14 book chapters, 3 books and given numerous invited lectures to both professional and academic audiences around the world.

His research interests include basic mechanisms of human glaucoma (glial cell activation, neuroprotection), ocular imaging, clinical psychophysics, ocular blood flow and studies of vascular reactivity. Awards include Certificate of Merit for Research Excellence, Glaucoma Research Society of Canada; Claire Bobier Lecture, University of Waterloo; Springer Lecture, University of Alabama; the Glenn A Fry Award from the American Academy of Optometry; Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo (2004 and 2013); Institute of Medical Science Mel Silverman Mentorship Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 2011; the Dario Lorenzetti Lecture, McGill Ophthalmology, 2013; and the Karen Walker-Brandreth Lecture, UC Berkeley, 2015.

He was a plenary lecturer at the 2003 AAO meeting and was appointed as faculty for the inaugural World Glaucoma Congress in 2005 and each subsequent WGC meeting. He was a founding member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society; Program Chair from 2002 to 2007, and President from 2007 to 2012. He is also a member of the American Glaucoma Society, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. From 2008-2014 he was Chair of the Clinical Research Ethics Committee at the University of Waterloo. He has also served as a Governor and Senator at the University of Waterloo, and was a member of the Senate Executive Committee. He served as President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, in 2020/21.

He serves on the Board of the Glaucoma Research Foundation and Optometry Giving Sight. In 2015 he was awarded a life fellowship of the British College of Optometrists. In 2016 he received a DSc honoris causa from alma mater Aston University, and fellowship of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In 2020, he received the President’s Award for services to the profession of optometry, by the American Optometric Association, and in 2022 was included in the inaugural cohort of the American Academy of Optometry’s Hall of Fame. In 2023, he was named the Borish Scholar by the School of Optometry at the University of Indiana.

On Monday, June 5th, 2023 our community gathered at the Cornerstone in Berkeley to hear Dean Flanagan’s band perform – The Lost Faculties! Click the button below to learn more.

Rock the Centennial