The Power List 2018
Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of The University Eye Hospital Bochum in Bochum, Germany
Throughout his career, Burkhard has covered the full spectrum of ophthalmologic surgery, and regularly performs cataract surgeries, LASIK procedures, phakic IOL implantations, glaucoma operations, corneal transplants and pars plana vitrectomies. The author of several books and more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, Burkhard is the editor of a textbook, The Use of the Femtosecond Laser in Ophthalmology, that many already consider to be the definitive textbook on the topic.
He is an active member of numerous ophthalmologic associations; currently, he is president of both AECOS and the German Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (the DGII). He has received a number of international awards, such as the Waring Medal in 2014 and the Visionary Award of AECOS in 2015. Both the German Ophthalmological Society, DOG, and the Australian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery have awarded Burkhard their Gold Medal Awards. And in 2016, his endeavors as a researcher, educator and clinician were recognized by the AAO with the Academy’s Senior Achievement Award.
What have been your career highlights?
“After attending medical school at the University of Gießen in Central Germany, I specialized in ophthalmology and became a professor at University Eye Hospital of Mainz University, Germany, in 2003. My focus in research, teaching, publishing and patient care was and still is on cataract and refractive surgery. In 2006, I was appointed Chairman of the University Eye Hospital at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.”
What are your goals for the future?
“It is enormously important to me to further advance clinical education and experimental as well as clinical research. I hope to be able to focus on the advancement of innovative diagnostic techniques on the one hand and on developing and perfecting a number of surgical technologies on the other. My main goal – and I think I share that with any other ophthalmic surgeon – is to improve surgical therapy to provide our patients with an even better (considering how far advanced we already are) or the best chance for them to safeguard and/or restore vision. I strongly believe that minimally invasive and atraumatic approaches are essential to reach that goal.”
What has been your most successful collaboration?
“Working on the Experimental Eye Research Institute at Ruhr-Universität Bochum with Stephanie Joachim.”
What are your plans for the next 10 years?
“Always being fascinated by new methods and technologies, focusing on topics that really matter and may have game-changer potential is what I look particularly forward to.”
What drives you day-to-day?
“That is certainly the joy and happiness we in our profession are blessed with: being able to make patients happy or at least provide some level of help and comfort for them.”
Who have been your mentors?
“Profs. Pfeiffer, Jacobi, Eisenmann, Hessemer.”