2015 Kritzinger Memorial Award: Dr. Burkhard Dick

Burkhard Dick was born in the small town of Brake in northern Germany. After graduating from the local high school, he served for two years as a medical officer with Germany’s NATO forces. He attended medical school at the University of Giessen, graduating in 1990. The city of Giessen had a strong American presence during the Cold War, but the year of Burkhard’s graduation brought German unification and changed Giessen’s relative location—transforming it from a bordertown at the edge of the Iron Curtain to a city at the country’s geographical center. There Burkhard Dick completed his residency in ophthalmology, becoming head physician at the University Eye Hospital in 1995 before moving to the Eye Hospital of the University of Mainz, which bears the name of that city’s greatest son, Johannes Gutenberg. Here he specialized in refractive and cataract surgery and in 1997 became head of the hospital’s Refractive Surgical Eye Care Center. Shortly after becoming a clinical professor in Mainz, the University of Bochum offered Burkhard Dick the position of head and director of its eye clinic and eye research center, which he accepted in 2006. Since then, the Bochum University Eye Clinic has become an internationally renowned institution with a constant output of highly ranked research papers and clinical studies, most of them published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the Journal of Refractive Surgery.

Burkhard Dick became one of the first ophthalmic surgeons in Europe to use a femtosecond laser in cataract surgery; to date almost 5000 eyes have been operated with that technology in Bochum. For his pioneering work, he has been awarded a number of honors, like the Choyce Medal of the British Ophthalmological Society, the Gold Medal Award of the Australian Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Waring Medal of the Journal of Refractive Surgery, and, most recently, the Visionary Award of the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (AECOS). He is a regular lecturer at international meetings like those of the Academy, the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons, the Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, the Deutschen Ophthalmochirurgen (DOC), the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft fur Intraokularlinsen-Implanation und Refraktive Chirurgie, and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and he has instructed fellows from 38 different countries in state-of-the-art cataract, refractive, glaucoma, and vitreoretinal surgery.