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Gerald Westheimer

Gerald Westheimer, German, American optometrist, educator. Recipient Von Sallman prize Columbia University, 1986; Prentice medal American Academy Optometry, 1986, Bicentennial medal Australian Optometric Association, 1988, B. Collin Research medal Optometrists Association Australia, 2010; Named Order of Australia, 2009.


  • Westheimer, Gerald was born on May 13, 1924 in Berlin, Germany. Naturalized, 1944, came to the United States, 1951. Son of Isaak and Ilse (Cohn) Westheimer.

  • Education

    • Optometry diploma, Sydney Technology College, Australia, 1943. Fellowship diploma, Sydney Technology College, Australia, 1950. Bachelor of Science, University Sydney, 1947.

      Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, 1953. Doctor of Science (honorary), University New South Wales, Australia, 1988. Doctor of Science (honorary), State University of New York, 1990.

      Doctor of Medicine (honorary), University Tubingen, 2005.


    • Practice optometry, Sydney, 1945-1951. Research fellow Ohio State University, 1951-1953. Professor physiological optics University Houston, 1953-1954.

      Assistant professor, then associate professor physiological optics Ohio State University, 1954-1960. Postdoctoral fellow neurophysiology Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 1957. Visiting researcher Physiological Laboratory, University Cambridge, England, 1958-1959.

      Member faculty University California at Berkeley, since 1960, professor physiological optics, 1963-1968, chairman group physiological optics, 1964-1967, professor physiology, 1968-1989, professor neurobiology, since 1989, head division neurobiology, 1987-1992. Adjunct professor Rockefeller University, New York, since 1992. Honorary professor University Electronic Science & Technology China, Chengdu, since 2010.

      Sackler lecturer Tel Aviv University Medical School, 1988, D.O. Hebb lecturer McGill University, 1991, Grass Foundation lecturer University Illinois, 1991, Wertheimer lecturer University Frankfort on the Main, 1998. Member committee vision National Research Council, 1957-1972. Member visual science study section National Institutes of Health, 1966-1970, chairman visual science B study section, 1977-1979.

      Member vision, research and training committee National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 1970-1974, chairman board science counselors, 1981-1983. Member executive council committee vision NAS-National Research Council, 1969-1972. Member communicative science cluster President's biomedical Research Panel, 1975, Enoch Lecturer, Washington University Medical School, 2009.


    • Author research papers. Editor: Vision Research, 1972-1979. Editorial board Investigative Ophthalmology, 1973-1977, Experimental Brain Research, 1973-1989, Optics Letters, 1977-1978, Spatial Vision, since 1985, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, since 1985, Vision Research, 1985-1992, Journal of Physiology, 1987-1994.


    Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, Royal Society London (Ferrier lecturer 1992, editorial board proceedings 1990-1996, 2000-2006), American Academy Arts and Sciences, Optical Society of America (Tillyer medal 1978, associate editor journal 1980-1983), American Academy Optometry. Member Royal Society New Southern Wales, Society Neurosci., Association Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (Proctor medal 1979), International Brain Research Organization, Physiological Society Great Britain, Sigma Xi, General Division AM (order of Australia 2009), Royal Society New South Wales (honorary).


    • father: Isaak Westheimer
    • mother: Ilse (Cohn) Westheimer
    Gerald Westheimer
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    Born May 13, 1924
    • 1943
      Sydney Technology College
    • 1950
      Sydney Technology College
    • 1947
      University Sydney
    • 1953
      Ohio State University
    • 1988
      University New South Wales
    • 1990
      State University of New York
    • 2005
      University Tübingen
    • 1945 - 1951
      Practice, optometry
      Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    • 1951 - 1953
      research fellow, Ohio State University
    • 1953 - 1954
      professor, physiological optics University Houston
    • 1954 - 1960
      assistant, professor physiological optics Ohio State University
    • 1954 - 1960
      then associate, professor physiological optics Ohio State University
    • 1957
      postdoctoral fellow, neurophysiology Marine Biological Laboratory
      Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States
    • 1958 - 1959
      visiting researcher, Physiological Laboratory
      England, Arkansas, United States
    • 1992
      adjunct professor, Rockefeller University
      New York, United States
    • 2010
      honorary professor, University Electronic Science & Technology China
      Chengdu, Sichuan, China, Sichuan, China
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