Ramesh C. Tripathi, MD, PhD, FACS, MS(Ophth), FICS, FRCOphth, FRCPath, FNASc(I), ophthalmologist, researcher and educator, passed away June 4, 2013 after a brief illness.  He was surrounded by his family members.    

Dr. Tripathi's medical school and ophthalmology residency training was in India.  In 1964, he was awarded a Fellowship to study glaucoma under the late Professor Jules François of Ghent, Belgium.  Subsequently Dr. Tripathi moved to England where he pursued his Doctorate of Philosophy studies under the preceptorship of the late Professor Norman Ashton, CBE, FRS at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University of London.  It was there that Dr. Tripathi met his future wife and life-long colleague and collaborator, Brenda.  Dr. Ramesh Tripathi went on to become Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London when in 1977, he was recruited as Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Chicago.  In 1993, he moved to the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC as Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  Dr. Tripathi resigned from the chairmanship in 1998 to focus again on his research and teaching activities.  In 2006, Dr. Tripathi retired and was bestowed the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Board of Trustees of the University.

Dr. Tripathi was a superb and compassionate physician with exceptional surgical skills and in this role, improved the sight of countless patients in India, Belgium, England, and the United States.  He was always willing to help not only his patients, but also his colleagues who were faced with challenging cases.    Although he had wide ranging interests in diseases of the eye, his particular expertise was in glaucoma and this carried over to his research endeavors.   From his meticulous morphologic and experimental studies, he developed the theory that a unique cyclical sequence of events, which lead to the temporary formation of vacuolar transcellular channels in the endothelial lining of Schlemm's canal in the eye, had a pivotal role in the egress of aqueous humor and hence in maintaining normal intraocular pressure.  Dr. Tripathi's studies of the arachnoid villi in the brain demonstrated the existence of an identical process that catered for the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid, analogous to that of aqueous humor in the eye. He also showed that the system of vacuolar transcellular channels is present in the eyes of all vertebrate animals that he examined and that it represented a fundamental biologic process. In the 1990's Dr. Tripathi's interest turned to the identification, quantification and role of growth factors in the eye, particularly in relation to the painless blinding disease of glaucoma.

Dr. Tripathi's research was well funded initially by the Medical Research Council, London, UK, and then in the United States by the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, as well as by non federal awards from The Glaucoma Foundation, the American Health Assistance Foundation, and Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York. His research has also been recognized with numerous honors and awards, such as Royal Eye Hospital (London) Prize for published work 1974-75 contributing most to the knowledge and understanding of ophthalmology from the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, 1976; Outstanding New Citizenship award in recognition of distinguished service to fellow Americans from the Citizenship Council of Metropolitan Chicago, 1984;   Litchfield Lectureship, the University of Oxford, 1986; elected Life Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, India for contributions in the field of experimental ophthalmology and pathology, 1987; Ida Mann Gold medal, University of Oxford, 1989;   combined basic and clinical science award for research excellence from University of South Carolina School of Medicine, 1997.    In 1987 Dr. Tripathi and his colleague, Brenda Tripathi, PhD, were awarded jointly the prestigious international Alcon Research Institute Award in recognition of their scientific contributions in the field of vision research.

Dr. Tripathi was a prolific writer having published some 540 articles and abstracts in prestigious scientific journals, contributed chapters to 57 books, edited 11 books, and co-authored with Professors Anthony J. Bron and Brenda J. Tripathi the completely revised "Wolff's Anatomy of the Eye and Orbit" Chapman Hall, London, 1997.  He was a member of numerous professional societies and organizations including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, to name a few.   In 1998, he was elected President of the International Society of Ocular Toxicology; in this role, Dr. Tripathi organized and conducted a highly successful and memorable international meeting of the Society at Kiawah Island, South Carolina in 2000.  He has served on the editorial board of several journals, most notably Experimental Eye Research and his opinion was sought frequently by various journals in the review of submitted articles.

Dr. Tripathi's philosophy and passion for teaching is embodied in the phrase "Let knowledge grow from one to another, so that human life may be enriched."  Throughout his career he taught numerous medical students and ophthalmology residents, and was preceptor for graduate students who obtained their PhD degree either at the University of Chicago or the University of South Carolina.  His lectures to medical students and residents were not only informative and comprehensive but also easy to understand and kept the audience interested.  In 1997 Dr. Tripathi received the Senior Honor Award in recognition of his distinguished services in the educational programs of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Besides nurturing the research interests of many medical students, he guided them in their endeavors to obtain residency training as ophthalmologists.  

Dr. Ramesh Tripathi will be deeply missed by all who knew him and all whose lives he touched.  He is survived by his wife Brenda, his daughter Anita, and son Paul, his daughter-in-law Chrys, his grandchildren Arion and Mia, and his brothers Prabodh and Prafulla, as well as their wives, Dipti and Neena, respectively.