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Encyclopedia > Charles Schepens

Charles L. Schepens (March 13, 1912 - April 6, 2006) was an influential American ophthalmologist regarded by many in the profession as "the father of modern retinal surgery"[1][2]. March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases of the eye and their treatment. ... Human eye cross-sectional view. ...

Early life: medical training and member of the French Resistance

Schepens was born in Mouscron, Belgium in 1912 [1]. He initially studied mathematics before graduating from medical school in 1935 at State University of Ghent in Belgium[1][2]. Schepens then trained in ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England prior to World War II [1][2]. After the Germans invaded Belgium in 1940, he became a medical officer in the Belgian Air Force[2]. Mouscron (Dutch: Moeskroen) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... An image of a 1901 examination in the faculty of medicine. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Ghent University (in Dutch, Universiteit Gent, abbreviated UGent) is one of the three large Flemish universities. ... Moorfields Eye Hospital. ... For other uses, see London (disambiguation) and Defining London (below). ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my [birth]right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages English (de facto) Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead:17 million Civilian dead:33 million Total dead:50 million Military dead:8 million Civilian dead:4 million Total dead:12 million World War II... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Ensign of the Belgian Air Force // Early Years The Belgian Air Force was founded in 1909 as a branch of the Belgian Army. ...

After the fall of Belgium, Schepens escaped to France where he became active in the French Resistance smuggling documents and people over the Pyrenees to Spain during 1943 and 1943[2]. Schepens was twice captured by the Gestapo[2]. He worked under the alias of Jacques Perot, a lumber mill operator in the French Basque village of Mendive. He escaped to England after learning that the Germans were aware of the operation and were planning to arrest him. The French Resistance is the name used for resistance movements that fought military occupation of France by Nazi Germany and the Vichy France undemocratic regime during World War II after the government and the high command of France surrendered in 1940. ... Central Pyrenees. ... The Deaths Head emblem similar to Skull and crossbones, often used as the insignia of the Gestapo The (help· info) (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei; secret state police) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. ... Mendive (Basque: Mendibe) is a small village and commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of southwestern France. ...


After the war, Schepens resumed his medical career at Moorfields[2]. In 1947, he emigrated to the United States and became a fellow at the Harvard Medical School[2]. Schepens is credited for creating the vitreo-retinal subspecialty in ophthalmology[1]. In 1949, he established the world's first retina service and first retinal disease fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary[1][2]. He founded a research laboratory for the investigation of retinal disease called the Retina Foundation in 1950, which is now known as the Schepens Eye Research Institute and affiliated with Harvard[2]. It has grown from 6 staff initially to 200 as of 2006[3]. In 1967, Schepens founded The Retina Society and was its first president from 1968 to 1969[1] and is the largest independent eye research organisation in the United States. 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. ... Vitreous humour is the clear aqueous solution that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the vertebrate eyeball. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ...

Schepens invented the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO), which is routinely used to look at the retina;.his original BIO is now part of the Smithsonian Institute's collection [1]. He was also a pioneer of surgical techniques such as scleral buckling for the repair of retinal detachments. The use of these techniques has raised the success of retinal reattachment surgery from 40% to 90%[2]. The ophthalmoscope, invented by Hermann von Helmholtz, is an instrument used to examine the eye. ... The Smithsonian castle, as seen through the garden gate. ... A scleral buckle is one of several ophthalmologic procedures that can be used to repair a retinal detachment. ... Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. ...

During his career, Schepens wrote four books and over 340 research papers[2]. In 1999, we was chosen by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery as one of the ten most influential ophthalmologists of the century[2]. The American Academy of Ophthalmology named him as one of their inaugural laureates in 2003 as recognition for his contribution to the field[2]. 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


  1. a b c d e f g h The Retina Society. 33rd Annual Meeting. Coral Gables, Florida. November 30 - December 3, 2000.
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2003 Laureate Award.
  3. New England Ophthalmological Society. "Charles L. Schepens, M.D." Adapted from NEOS biography by Hal M. Freeman.
  • Irish Examiner, "War-hero eye surgeon dies at 94" 6 April 2005



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