The Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 26, 1998

Jan. 26, 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 19



Alfred E. Maumenee Jr., former head of Wilmer Eye Institute

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Alfred Edward Maumenee Jr., a world-renowned ophthalmologist and director of the Wilmer Eye Institute from 1955 to 1979, died at his home in Point Clear, Ala., on Jan. 18.

Maumenee, who was 84, is described by the current Wilmer director, Morton Goldberg, as "one of the most famous names and towering figures of ophthalmology in the 20th century."

Arnall Patz, who headed Wilmer following Maumenee's tenure, notes that the former director was a pioneer in the use of fluorescein, a standard practice used today to photograph the retina as blood flows through it. Maumenee was "a man of marvelous inspiration and was a great man of science," Patz said.

During his 50-year career, Maumenee not only pioneered treatments for many eye diseases, such as retinal diseases, macular degeneration and glaucoma but also was considered by colleagues to be the foremost corneal transplant and cataract surgeon in the world.

Maumenee was a major force in 1968 in the founding of the National Eye Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Called a "dynamic leader" by Walter J. Stark, professor of ophthalmology and director of corneal and cataract services at Wilmer, Maumenee was also known affectionately as "The Prof."

The esteem in which he was held was reflected in the naming of the Maumenee Building at Wilmer and the numerous honors presented to him, including the Friedenwald Award, the leading research prize in American ophthalmology.

Maumenee was born in 1913 in Mobile, Ala., the son of Alfred Edward Maumenee, an ophthalmologist, and Lulie Martha Maumenee. He graduated from Cornell Medical College in Ithaca, N.Y., earning his medical degree in 1938. He began his long association with Johns Hopkins by studying under Alan C. Woods, the legendary Wilmer director, who had succeeded the founder of the institute, William H. Wilmer. Maumenee was a resident in ophthalmology from 1942 to 1943. After serving in the Navy from 1943 to 1945, he returned to Hopkins as an associate professor.

Maumenee left Wilmer in 1948 to head the division of ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, a position he held until becoming director of Wilmer in 1955.

Robert Ballentine,
Hopkins biologist
since 1949
Robert Ballentine, a biologist at Johns Hopkins for nearly 50 years, died on Jan. 17. Ballentine, who had suffered from leukemia, was 83.

Ballentine came to Hopkins in 1949 as an associate professor in the Department of Biology and as a member of the McCollum-Pratt Institute. He earned a doctorate from Princeton University in 1940 and was an instructor at Columbia University from 1943 until 1948.

An accomplished amateur photographer, Ballentine used his photographic skills to record details about his research. He had been an emeritus associate professor at Hopkins since 1980.

A memorial service is being planned in his honor. Memorial contributions may be made to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library or to the School of Arts and Sciences.
--Emil Venere