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David Williams named to National Academy of Sciences

David Williams
David Williams

David Williams, one of the world’s leading experts on human vision, has been named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The honor is one of the highest given to a scientist in the United States. Williams was one of 84 scientists selected for 2014.

Williams has pioneered new technologies that are improving the eyesight of people around the globe, from the legally blind to those with 20/20 vision. He is the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics, dean for research and director of the Center for Visual Science.

“David’s election to the National Academy recognizes a remarkable record of truly brilliant contributions to our understanding of how we see,” says Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “His work ranges from fundamental discoveries about the organization of the photoreceptors in the eye, to the development of inventive techniques that greatly improve the outcomes from refractive surgery and greatly improve our prospects for understanding retinal disease.”

“David Williams has been a force in the field of vision science, and his induction into the National Academy of Sciences is very well deserved,” says Rob Clark, senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School. “His work and his mentorship of students and colleagues exemplify the high academic values that we strive for here at Rochester.”

In 2012 Williams received the most prestigious award in the field of vision, the António Champalimaud Vision Award. He is the author of more than 100 papers, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of the Friedenwald Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, among other honors. In 2003, his adaptive optics phoropter, which allows for more precise corrective lens prescriptions, was named one of R&D magazine’s top 100 inventions of the year. He joined the University in 1981 after earning a doctorate in psychology in 1979 from the University of California at San Diego.

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