This is a speech given by Peter Gouras at the XV International Congress of Eye Research, Geneva (October 6-10, 2002), on Tuesday, October 8, 2002, before presentation of the Ludwig von Sallmann Prize to Steven Fisher.

Commemoration to David Maurice

Peter Gouras

Before we proceed with the von Sallmann Prize presentation I would like to commemorate a former von Sallmann Prize winner who died last month and whom many of you know, David Maurice.

David was a most remarkable man with charm, wit and brilliance who was a giant in eye research. Here are a few photos of David from childhood to maturity. He is shown as a child, in the laboratory, as a gold belt winner and as I knew him when we shared the 4th floor in the Eye Research Annex at Columbia.

David had a mischievous wit illustrated this creation, which he left as remembrance around a window at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London when he left for America.

He is most remembered by me by the extraordinary talk he delivered after receiving the von Sallmann Prize in Yokahama in 1996.

This is a photograph of David giving this address. His talk was brilliant. He raised the extraordinary hypothesis REM sleep's purpose was to shake the eye to prevent the cornea from ischemia. No-one in this long debated field had ever thought of this. But David did. Francis Crick sent a reprint request and a flattering letter, which I displayed on my bulletin board for months (David wouldn't).

David also wrote a brief autobiography for the prize in the same journal. To anyone in eye research or in scientific research at all, this is a delight to read. You will come away smiling, in fact laughing.

No von Sallmann Prize winner added such a legacy to the prize as David.

I compare these two men in my final slide. They were different. Dr. von Sallmann was not a humorous or mischievous as David but they had a similarity. Both had extraordinarily high principles. Any paper written by them would be a job well done. They both left Europe to develop their scientific careers in America and contribute in no small way to putting America in the forefront of science in the 20th century.

I now hand over the stage to the first von Sallmann Prize winner of the 21st century who will present the second von Sallmann Prize winner of the 21st century.