175 Makers of History: Arnall Patz

Arnall Patz 43C 45M 85H
Ophthalmology Researcher

Arnall Patz

In the 1950s, Arnall Patz, with his colleague Leroy Hoeck, discovered that the high levels of oxygen given to premature babies frequently led to blindness, a condition known as retinopathy of prematurity. This breakthrough led to changes in pediatric practices that have saved the sight of countless infants.

In the late 1960s, Patz, who spent his career on the faculty at The Johns Hopkins University, helped develop one of the first argon lasers. They are now a standard treatment for macular degeneration and for certain eye disorders that occur among people with diabetes and other ailments.

Patz received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential ophthalmologists of the twentieth century.