For his pioneering work in understanding the role of vitamin A supplementation in preventing blindness and life-threatening infections in children in the developing world.
Dr. Sommer is a Gilman Scholar and University Distinguished Service Professor at Johns Hopkins University; Johns Hopkins Professor of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology, and International Health; and Dean Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School (1967) and his Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1973). He has published 6 books and over 300 scientific articles; has received numerous awards including the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the Duke Elder International Gold Medal for Contributions to Ophthalmology; has delivered over 40 named lectureships, including the Jackson Memorial Lecture (American Academy of Ophthalmology), Duke Elder Oration (Royal College of Ophthalmologists), De Schweinitz Lecture (College of Physicians, Philadelphia), Doyne Lecture (Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress), among others. He is a member of both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. His current research interests include child survival and blindness prevention strategies, micronutrient interventions, and the interface between public health and clinical medicine. Sommer has received the Laureate Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and was elected to the ASCRS "Ophthalmology Hall of Fame.”