J. Terry Ernest, MD/PhD, 78, the Cynthia Chow Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of Ophthalmology at The University of Chicago, died in Chicago Thursday, Dec. 26, after a long illness. Services are being planned and will be announced in the coming weeks. An authority on the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration, Dr. Ernest was a University of Chicago faculty member from 1966 through 1977, returned in 1981 where he became Chairman of Ophthalmology & Visual Science in 1985. He served as Department Chairman until 2004. He received many awards for research on eye disease and lectured across the country on the eye and its diseases. In 1997, Ernest led a team that performed the first tissue transplant as an experimental treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Eye surgeons and journalists
around the world followed this study carefully, and in the fall of that same year, Time magazine designated Ernest a "Hero of Medicine" for his pioneering efforts to find a better therapy for this common eye disease. Dr. Ernest earned a B.A. at Northwestern University
(1957) and then earned his M.D. (1961) and his Ph.D. (1967) in visual science from The University of Chicago. He served as Lt. Colonel in the US Army. He was born in 1935 in Sycamore, Illinois. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Ernest McMahon; his granddaughters Sadie, Malley and Kimberly; he was proceeded in death by his daughter Kimberly.