The Schepens International Society was organized in 1988 by a group of 161 retina specialists who had completed a retina fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Charles L. Schepens at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.
10611 Piping Rock Lane
Houston, TX 77042
P: (713) 798-3276
F: (713) 798-7848
Schepens Meeting History
Meetings have been held in the following locations:
- Paris, France
- Rome, Italy
- Madrid, Spain
- Hong Kong
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Brugge, Belgium
- Vancouver, Canada
- Washington, DC
“Profile of Charles L. Schepens, M.D.”
Founding President of SIS
Dr. Charles Schepens received his medical degree in 1935 from the State University of Ghent. He received the award of “Concours Universitaire” of Belgium in Therapeutic Science in 1953 – the first of his many honors. In 1937 he served as assistant to Dr. L. Hambresin in Brussels. During WWII he was Captain of the Medical Corps in Belgium Air Force and served in the underground in Paris. Fleeing to London, he began working at Moorfields where he developed the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope that has revolutionized ophthalmology and more specifically surgery of the retina.
In 1946 he became a fellow in ophthalmic research at Harvard Medical School where he served as an instructor and professor until 1983, when he became Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Emeritus.
In 1950 he founded The Eye Research Institute of the Retina Foundation in Boston. The name was later changed to The Schepens Eye Research Institute. This is the largest independent ophthalmology research facility in the world, employing approximately 130 scientists. In June, 2011 the Schepens Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary united and became the world’s largest basic and clinical ophthalmology research centers. SERI became a subsidiary of Mass Eye and Ear Foundation but will maintain its name and continue as a non-profit research center.
In addition to the Schepens ophthalmoscope, he has designed and developed many ophthalmic instruments including microscissors used for vitreous surgery, the small pupil ophthalmoscope, the scanning laser ophthalmoscope, the scanning laser coagulator and a universal intraocular laser. He has pioneered many surgical procedures including scleral buckle techniques and the “open-sky” vitrectomy. A prolific writer, he has over 360 publications to his credit.
His honors include the New England Ophthalmological Prize for Outstanding Work in the Field of Ophthalmology, The Eyes of Texas Sight Foundation Award (Baylor College of Medicine), the Research to Prevent Blindness Award for Outstanding Ophthalmic Achievement, the First Award of Merit in Retina Research (Retina Research Foundation of Houston), The Jackson Memorial Lecture (American Academy of Ophthalmology) Medal from the Belgain Government “Commandeur del’ Order de la Couronne”, Albrecht von Graefe Award (Society for Contemporary Ophthalmology), Honorary medal “the Medaille de la Ville de Paris”, Hermann Wacker Prize (Club Jules Gonin) and numerous others.
“Dr. Schepens passed away on March 28, 2006 in the 95th year of his life. He had just been awarded France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor.
Dr. Schepens will be remembered for his brilliant and multifaceted career as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Ophthalmologists of the 20th Century. We owe so much to our esteemed colleague, Charles L. Schepens. A teacher, mentor, scientist and friend, he touched the lives of people around the globe.
The world is a better place thanks to Dr. Schepens.”
10611 Piping Rock
Houston, TX 77042
Phone: (713) 798-3276 • Fax: (713) 798-7848