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1942 - 2019
MASLAND, Richard H. PhD Of Weston, died peacefully of cancer, on Friday, December 13. Born in Philadelphia on June 12, 1942, Dick was raised in Winston-Salem, NC. He graduated from Harvard College and received a PhD in Psychology from McGill University. After postdoctoral studies at Stanford and Harvard Universities, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1973. He headed a research laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital for thirty-five years, serving as an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1993 to 2006, and as the Director of the Howe Laboratory and Associate Chief for Ophthalmology Research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, starting in 2009. In a career spanning multiple disciplines and over four decades, he achieved international recognition for his retinal neurobiology research and received numerous awards. Notably, he was the first to describe the neuronal organization of the retina, a project that was fundamental to the understanding of vision and retinal disease. A potential therapy for blindness based partly on his work is currently under clinical trial. Dick loved sailing, boating, building things and, passionately, words and reading. On giving up his laboratory, he turned to writing as an occupation. He recently completed a book, entitled, "We Know It When We See It: What the Neurobiology of Vision Tells Us About How We Think." The book, available in March, 2020, describes the wonders of vision and perception in an approachable but profound way. In recent years, Dick and his wife, Jean, divided their time between their home in Weston and a house they had designed and built in Frenchtown, MD on the lower eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. He is survived by his wife, Jean, his daughter Molly, his son John, John's partner Stefanie, grandson John Richard, and his sisters, Frances Masland and Sarah Bender. He will be deeply missed by family, friends, colleagues and many whose lives he touched. A Celebration of His Life will be held at First Parish Church, in Weston, at 2:00 PM, on Friday, January 17. Contributions in his memory may be made to Apopo, at www.apopo.org or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at www.cbf.org For further information, please visit nardonefuneralhome.com

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Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 19, 2019
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