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OU professor to reflect on life's work with Last Lecture

Friday, March 9, 2012
OU professor to reflect on life's work with Last Lecture
By Dave Groves, contributing writer

Dr. Barry S. Winkler, professor of biomedical sciences and an accomplished member of OU’s Eye Research Institute, will deliver his Last Lecture, “From Growing Up in Brooklyn to Maturing (sort of) After 40 Years in the Eye Research Institute,” at noon on Monday, March 19.

The talk will highlight a distinguished career that has led Dr. Winkler to becoming a widely respected scholar in eye research. The trajectory of that success would be evident early on.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harpur College (now SUNY at Binghamton) and master’s and doctoral degrees in physiology at the University of Buffalo Medical School in physiology, Dr. Winkler joined the Eye Research Institute in 1971.

At the time, he had been among the first group of investigators to successfully develop techniques for maintaining the biochemical and electrophysiological activities of superfused mammalian retinas in vitro. These models have served as the foundation for his studies of retinal metabolism and physiology since then.

For more than 25 years, Winkler taught neurobiology to OU undergraduates, as well as "Visual Reality and Perception in Health and Disease” to Honors College students. In addition to his full-time research work, Dr. Winkler served as the associate director and interim director of the Honors College from 1999-2002.

“This guy is an amazing professor and researcher/scientist. I have learned so much from him and continue to do so,” one student wrote of Dr. Winkler. “You'll learn things that you can implement in your daily life. Overall he is an amazing human being.”

In 2010, Dr. Winkler received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). He said he has taken great pride in seeing the organization progress from a largely U.S. based group of roughly 500 members to a diverse society boasting 12,000 scientists and clinicians from more than 80 countries.

“I am most proud that the society continues to bring in some of the best and brightest young researchers,” Dr. Winkler said at the time. “The quality of the work being done gets better each year.”

The Last Lecture will take place in Gold Rooms A and B in Oakland Center. The event is free and open to all.