Letter of nomination of David Maurice for the 1996 Helen Keller Prize

December 22, 1995

Drs. Christopher A. Paterson and Thom J. Zimmerman
Co-Chairmen, Prize Selection Committee
c/o The Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation
P.O Box 55697, Birmingham, Alabama 35255-5687


This is to nominate David Maurice, Ph.D. for the Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research. It is a pleasure and a privilege to recommend him for such an award.

His accomplishments are legendary. Years ago, as a newcomer to Eye Research, I chose to work in a field close to that he was in at the time, that of the endothelial pump. As I read his papers I had occasion to grasp an epochal contribution, his 1972 paper describing how the endothelium pumped fluid against a hydrostatic pressure gradient. A wonderful discovery, presented with his seal of elegance and clarity. Every paper of his I have read has reminded me of his standing and his high standards. This has been recognized by the many people that flocked to his laboratory for training over the years; a legion of researchers in corneal hydration received training either from David himself or one of his disciples. I thought of myself as one of the few exceptions until I remembered how much I learned and how much I enjoyed his reviews on the cornea. In keeping with this, his public interventions at Meetings have always been towering, exemplary, illuminating, an example of leadership and an inspiration for countless others. He created fields, and created a style, embodying Eye Research and becoming a symbol as few others have.

When I learned some time ago that he was considering joining our Department, I was one of the enthusiastic proponents of his appointment. Today, it is an unrestricted pleasure to see how that has become a reality, and to have him, a living legend in Eye Research, to be functioning in our midst and doing what he has always done with inimitable gift: wonderful original research, training of a very promising young Fellow, and being available for generous Academic guidance and inspiration. I feel this person deserves every Eye Research Prize there is, and so I give him my strongest endorsement.


Jorge Fischbarg, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology (Ophthalmology)