Bert M. Glaser, MD, of the National Retina Institute passed away on April 27, 2017 at the age of 67. A native of New York City, after graduating from Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Glaser was accepted at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for his medical internship. He completed his residency, became chief resident, and was a vitreo-retinal fellow at the Wilmer Eye Institute under Dr. Ronald G. Michels. During his 13-year span at Hopkins he was ultimately appointed Professor of Ophthalmology and became director of the Center for Vitreo-retinal Research of the Wilmer Eye Institute.

Dr. Glaser entered private practice in 1989, eventually founding The National Retina Institute in Towson (Md.). NRI is a practice he developed as an academic model with departments devoted to treating diseases of the retina, research, rehabilitation and the hands-on training of aspiring retina specialists in a fellowship training Program. NRI also became a center for conducting ophthalmic clinical trials and spread its reach to include satellite offices throughout the Baltimore, Washington and Northern Virginia areas.

Of prime interest to Dr. Glaser was the development of new surgical techniques to achieve improved outcomes for patients with retinal disease. As such, many of his procedures have now become universal in the field. His method of repairing macular holes is being used throughout the world.

He was also at the forefront in technology of improving imaging as a way to better guide doctors in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachments. For his many breakthrough therapies he has been honored by The Macula Society, The Retina Research Foundation, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Responding to many heartbreaking cases of blindness caused by retinal diseases, Dr. Glaser created a special laboratory and devoted much of his time to seek a more effective method to arrest macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. He founded Ocular Proteomics, LLC (OPL), a research and development company focused on discovery, development and the practical use of available biomarkers as a way of prescribing more targeted treatment of ocular diseases. At his untimely illness he was still involved with and excited about the potential benefits of OPL.

In 2009, Dr. Glaser suffered a devastating motorcycle accident that left him without the use of his lower limbs. No longer able to perform surgery, he devoted his time to continue his research as well as consultation with his staff of attending physicians.

In the months before his death he had become skilled in the use of the Exoskeleton-Assisted Walking device (EAW), a robotic suit worn on the body enabling a person with paralysis to stand and walk. He pursued many activities including skiing, hand cycling and driving his sports car.

Dr. Glaser and his wife of forty-one years, Ronnie, made their home in the waterfront area of Canton in Baltimore so he could more easily pursue his boyhood love of boating. In 2006, he carried that interest to greater heights when, together with his two sons, Eric and Harris, they purchased Midnight Express Powerboats, a South Florida based custom boat manufacturing company. The boats are a favorite among recreational users and have also been purchased for pursuit purposes by government law enforcement agencies. Their sons, run the company from their home base in Miami. After the accident, Eric and Harris designed a boat customized to allow Dr. Glaser to both access and enjoy operating a boat.

Dr. Glaser is survived by his wife Ronnie Glaser, their two sons, Eric and Harris, two daughters-in-law, Maggie Glaser and Cara Glaser. In addition he is also survived by a sister, Rita Taylor (Harvey); a niece, Meryl Paul (Viju), of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey; a sister-in-law Carole Birnbaum (Robert) of Atlanta, Georgia; and nephews Scott Birnbaum (Carla), Jason Birnbaum (Rebecca) and 4 great-nieces and nephews.