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Gerald Westheimer Edit Profile

educator , optometrist

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.


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, U. 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, U. Cambridge, England, 1958-1959;member of faculty, University of California at Berkeley, since 1960;professor physiological optics, University of California at Berkeley, 1963-1968;chairman group physiological optics, University of California at Berkeley, 1964-1967;professor physiology, University of California at Berkeley, 1968-1989;professor neurobiology, University of California at Berkeley, since 1989;head division neurobiology, University of California at Berkeley, 1987-1992; Adjunct Professor, Rockefeller U., New York, since 1992. Sackler lecturer Tel Aviv U. Medical School, 1988, D.O. Hebb lecturer McGill University, 1991, Grass Foundation lecturer University of Illinois, 1991, Wertheimer lecturer U. 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 of the 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.


  • Other Work

    • 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).


Isaak Westheimer

Ilse (Cohn) Westheimer