Francois C. Delori, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, will retire on January 1, 2021.
Dr. Delori was born in Ghent, Belgium, the birthplace of Dr. Charles Schepens. In 1963, he traveled to Boston to work with Dr. Schepens at the Retina Foundation—now the Schepens Eye Research Institute—as a research fellow. After earning his MS and PhD in physics in 1971 from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, he returned to the Retina Foundation, where he has worked for nearly 50 years conducting research related to retinal disease.
Dr. Delori has spent his career investigating the interaction of light with ocular tissues, beginning with the development of filters used in retinal cameras for imaging and retinal angiography. He pioneered the study of autofluorescence, and although it took several decades for the vision community to recognize the importance of this feature, it is now an integral part of every retina evaluation. Dr. Delori is now recognized as an innovative leader in retinal imaging—he is a “rock star” in our field.
Dr. Delori’s contributions to ophthalmology have garnered many awards, including the Award of Merit in Retina Research from the Retina Research Foundation, the Roger H. Johnson Prize for Macular Degeneration Research, the Harvard Ophthalmology Distinguished Research Achievement Award, and the Alcon Research Institute Award.
In addition to being a brilliant scientist, Dr. Delori is also a generous teacher and mentor to many generations of researchers and clinician scientists, including Joan W. Miller, MD. His many mentees and trainees all speak to his generosity, insight, attention to detail, and thoughtful teaching.
We offer our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Delori for his many contributions to our department and the field of ophthalmology, and our congratulations on his well-deserved retirement. He looks forward to spending more time with his wife of 53 years, Rosamond, and his children and grandchildren.