Oberdorfer Award in Low Vision Research

This award recognizes the seminal contributions of Michael D. Oberdorfer, PhD in support of low vision research. Dr. Oberdorfer served for many years at the National Eye Institute (NEI) as director of Strabismus, Amblyopia and Visual Processing and director of Low Vision and Blindness Rehabilitation for the NEI Extramural Research Program. His support of low vision research led to an expansion of funded grants in that field. First presented in 2012, the Oberdorfer Award in Low Vision Research is supported by the Lighthouse Guild through the ARVO Foundation.

Awardees will receive a $1,250 honorarium, an inscribed award and invitations to several special events at the ARVO Annual Meeting.

Eligible candidates are invited speakers to the ARVO Annual Meeting who will be presenting a low vision topic. The award recipient will present a lecture during an invited speaker session (symposium, minisymposium or cross-sectional group session) at the ARVO Annual Meeting.

Application process
There is no application process for this award.

Review and selection process
The Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) nominates invited speakers presenting a low vision-related topic. A selection committee evaluate and score the nominees based on the role they have played in furthering low-vision research.


Recipients will be notified in December.

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2024 recipient: David A. Atchison, PhD, DSc

David A. Atchison, PhD, DSc, is a professor in Vision Sciences and Optometry at Queensland University of Technology, where he has researched and taught ophthalmic and visual optics for 39 years. Atchison has co-authored two books (The Eye and Visual Optical Instruments; Optics of the Human Eye) and published over 300 reviewed papers in optics, visual optics, ophthalmology and optometry journals. The main themes of his research are the optics of the eye and its correcting devices, and their interaction to affect vision. His research has improved understanding of biometry, optics and visual performance of myopic, aging and diabetic eyes. Atchison has developed schematic eyes to develop this work, including eyes for accommodation, myopia, ageing, diabetes and children. He has done extensive design work with spectacle lenses, contact lenses and intraocular lenses, and developed principles of telescopes and simple magnifiers useful for low vision.