The Marshall M. Parks Medal

2006 Silver Medalist

1982-1983 AAPOS President, Bronze Medalist

Arthur J. Jampolsky, MD

Dr. Jampolsky was born in North Dakota, in 1919.   Brought up in Long Beach, CA, he entered the University of California (Berkeley) at age 17, and graduated from their School of Optometry in 1940. He then earned his MD from Stanford University in 1943. After internship, he volunteered for active duty in the Army Medical Corps during World War II and was assigned to the Philippines. After the armistice, he was assigned as ophthalmologist in General MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo before returning home.

Arthur J. Jampolsky Headshot


After completing his Stanford residency in ophthalmology, he continued his career development of self-financed fellowships by devoting two years in selective eye centers in the United States, London, Paris, and Sweden (which included a special fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm). He returned to London to enroll in orthoptics sections and residency programs (under Keith Lyle, M.D.). He was particularly and enthusiastically interested in learning and collaborating with Latin American centers of strabismus. These collaborations developed to a remarkable degree of comradeship, continuing to the present time. During the two years of worldwide laboratory visiting, he met with Dr. Philip Knapp (New York – Iowa), who was following a similar self-financed, strabismus-centered program in the USA. There developed a life-long friendship and worldwide visits and meetings that later included his wife Peggy.

After additional studies at the Karolinska Institute, he returned to San Francisco and went into practice as an office colleague of the Eye Department Chief of Stanford, Dr. Hans Barkan. For several decades, Barkan fully supported Jampolsky in continuing his half-time devotion to laboratory work and half-time to clinical work. His laboratory work was supported by the Office of Naval Research, and followed closely the electromyographic teachings at the Karolinska Institute. Elwin Marg and Edward Tamler were essential partners in this first western ophthalmic EMG laboratory. Additionally, a complement of visual psychophysicists (optometric Ph.D.s) was added – Anthony Adams, Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy, and Merton Flom.

In 1963, he founded the independent, world-renowned Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. The Institute’s founding principles were based upon clinical and laboratory scientists, conducting their research in strabismus and low vision, under one roof, and running separate and combined programs. These founding principles are sturdily in place in the Institute today.

A clinical fellowship program was instituted and conducted with an intimate limit of 2 fellows per year. There is one outstanding exception – a PhD visual laboratory scientist, Martin Steinbach, from Canada. He was the first participant in the clinical strabismus research fellowship program and he later developed his own worldwide-known Canadian laboratory work on clinical problems.

The lifetime outstanding influences in his entire career are Hans Barkan and Edward Maumenee. In visual physiology and clinical strabismus, there are no peers greater than Arthur Linksz. Only slightly less great are Paul Boeder and Gordon Walls. And, also, of course, Jampolsky Fellows who are always free to ask penetrating questions and/or express doubtful thoughts. The Jampolsky Fellows Reunion meetings, which are held yearly at various places in the world, are considered by him as his legacy.

Dr. Jampolsky had a deep involvement in the Washington, DC, birthing and formation of the National Eye Institute, the National Research Council, and the National Academy of Sciences committees. He has presented over 30 named lectures, on nine continents; written over 280 peer reviewed papers; two books; and approximately 60 chapters. He considers his major contribution to be the affirmation of the teaching of Donders and the control of accommodation during patient examination, monitoring, and treatment. These publications reflect attention to such principles as strabismus restrictions, excess stimulation (fixation duress), adjustable sutures, and several other surgical techniques.

He uses the word “humility” as descriptive of his good fortune of 58 years of wonderful married life.