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Historia Medica Lecture on Paul A. Cibis, MD

Speaker:  Robert M. Feibel, MD
Lecture Title:  “Paul A. Cibis, MD:  A St. Louis Pioneer of Modern Vitreoretinal Surgery”
Location:  Bernard Becker Medical Library, King Center, 7th floor
Time:  Thursday, April 10, 2014, 4:30 pm

A free lecture supported by the Becker Library and the Center for History of Medicine

Paul A. Cibis, MD

Dr. Robert M. Feibel, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine, will present the 38th Historia Medica Lecture.  His presentation will focus on Paul Anton Cibis (1911-1965), who was the first retinal specialist in St. Louis.  

Dr. Cibis made his initial reputation in Germany with important basic research in the physiology of the eye and vision.  He began his ophthalmologic career in Germany when was appointed to the faculty at the University of Heidelberg as a research and clinical assistant in the eye department.  However, he was immediately drafted into the German army, which was rapidly expanding since the outbreak of WWII in September 1939.  Dr. Cibis served in the army on the Russian front for two years, both as an ophthalmologist and a medical administrator. Robert Feibel, MD

Dr. Cibis was affiliated with the University of Heidelberg for 11 years before he and his family left Germany for the United States in 1948.  He joined the US Air Force School of Aviation Medicine located at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, to work on the visual and physiological problems of aviation and space travel.  He left after 7 years to become a member of the Department of Ophthalmology at Washington University in 1955.  It is here where he became an international authority of the treatment of disease of the vitreous and retina.  His surgical techniques of operating directly on the vitreous to repair complicated retinal detachments were innovative, even daring for his time.  His basic principles of surgery and some of his techniques are still in use today.

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