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Feb 2012

In Memoriam: David Joseph Apple, MD (1941-2011)

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Storm Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of South Carolina.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(2):157. doi:10.1001/archopthalmol.2011.1935

David J. Apple, MD, the first ophthalmic pathologist to study intraocular lenses (IOLs) and their effects on the eye, played a unique role in the evolution of modern cataract and lens implant surgery. He methodically analyzed explanted IOLs and countless autopsies of eyes containing IOLs. With more than 1400 scientific lectures and numerous contributions to the cataract literature, he helped to fuel surgical and biodevice innovation. He died on August 18, 2011, at the age of 69 years.

Apple was born September 14, 1941, in Alton, Illinois. He was a graduate of Northwestern University and University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed a residency in pathology at Louisiana State University followed by an ophthalmic pathology fellowship at the former Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Iowa and became board certified in both pathology and ophthalmology.

Apple and Randall Olsen, MD, founded the Center for Intraocular Lens Research at the University of Utah in 1982. The center was moved to the Storm Eye Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1988 when Apple was selected to be the Pawek-Valloton Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, a position he held until 1996.

A prolific writer, he authored 566 scientific publications, including 2 textbooks on IOL pathology, the area for which he is most remembered. He trained more than 200 fellows and students in his laboratory and referred to the group as the Apple Korps. Among his many honors were the Ophthalmology Hall of Fame and the Binkhorst Medal. He was most proud of his biography of Sir Harold Ridley, the inventor of the IOL. It was Apple's efforts that helped Ridley finally get the recognition he deserved.

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Article Information

Correspondence: Dr Wilson, Storm Eye Institute, MUSC, 167 Ashley Ave MSC676, Charleston, SC 29425 (wilsonme@musc.edu).

Financial Disclosure: None reported.