DEC 2013

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/227001

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Page 48 of 74

46 EW International December 2013 International outlook Postmortem, an ophthalmology giant lives by Matt Young EyeWorld Contributing Writer David J Apple Laboratory continues to investigate IOL pathology in a new form O urs is a small society, a fact that adds greatly to the richness of our profession. Over the course of a career we have the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world. Often they become our friends. Such is the advantage of being part of an intimate group who practice in a dynamic field of medicine. David Apple, MD, was one of the great thinkers in our field, and he touched many lives. In this article, Gerd Auffarth, MD, and Donald Munro reflect on his legacy. They were professional acquaintances that became personal friends of Dr. Apple. This is the story of their efforts to keep Dr. Apple's memory alive and to continue his work— good friends indeed. John A. Vukich, MD, international editor djapplelab.com S omeday soon, industry people may not remember Charles Kelman, MD. That's the position of Gerd Auffarth, MD, chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, noting that as femtosecond lasers replace phacoemulsification for cataract surgery, the great founding father of the once-revolutionary technique may be largely forgotten. "I'm pretty sure that will happen," Dr. Auffarth said. "People will think only the femtosecond is used for cataract surgery and nobody will know about phaco." On Dr. Auffarth's watch, he's not going to let forgotten legacy syndrome affect his own friend, the late but great David Apple, MD, pioneer of ophthalmic lens pathology. After Dr. Apple's death in 2011, Dr. Auffarth and his team in Heidelberg transferred vast amounts of research in crates based in Charleston, S.C. to the University of Heidelberg. There the David J Apple Laboratory was set up to continue his legacy and work. The Heidelberg laboratory provides a test-house facility for the IOL industry. The unique feature here is the benchmark database of more than 22,000 cadaver and explanted IOLs—brought over in the crates. This is a reference point; understanding the reasons for IOL failure in the past aids continued research on new materials and designs in the future. One recent example has been a special version of the Mplus multifocal lens (Oculentis, Berlin, Germany), which allows patients with late-stage AMD to see clearly without the need for cumbersome devices. Dr. Auffarth presented one of the first cases of a lens implant in low-vision patients at ESCRS 2013, and results have been impressive, he said. "The first patient was operated upon last week," he said. "They are doing astonishingly good. A lot of people were excited to hear that." The patient now has much better near and distance vision, he said. There's another important character involved in the David J Apple Laboratory: Donald Munro, former chairman and managing director of Rayner (East Sussex, U.K.), who now works in business development on behalf of the lab. It's an interesting career choice for a top executive, whose motives for the move are worth noting as they show just how humane the industry can be—apart from the business of serving patients, of course. "I miss him, frankly," Mr. Munro said. "I don't want to think about his work fading away. I really feel strongly about David Apple. David shouldn't be ignored." Mr. Munro met Dr. Apple while working at Rayner. "Rayner made the first lens for Ridley in the 1940s," Mr. Munro said. "It was natural for David as a biographer of Sir Harold Ridley to come to Rayner to access some of the archives that Rayner had and to find out Rayner's part of the story." When Mr. Munro met Dr. Apple, a vast scientific collaboration began. "We met and one day he

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