Remembering Lon Rubin


by Dr. Seth Koch
(photo of Dr. Rubin)

I lost a dear colleague, mentor and most importantly – friend – February 11th 2018.

Lon was a Philadelphian – born, raised, and attended school in Philadelphia. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School in 1958, and joined the United States Public Health Service, where he first became interested in ophthalmology. He studied at Wills Eye Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania graduate medical school and National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was the second individual in the history of the graduate school of medicine to study with M.D. ophthalmologists (the first was Bill Magrane). Lon joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as an instructor in ophthalmology after finishing his time in the public health service. Very quickly, he became the recipient of grants from NIH allowing him to do both basic and clinical research and to teach to the veterinary students basic ophthalmology. He trained residents, among which were, Dr. Kirk Gelatt, Dr.Gustavo Aquirre, Dr.Steven Bistner, Dr. Steven Gross, and me;n and influenced others to choose ophthalmology as their chosen field of endeavor.

He wrote four books, dozens of articles all published in peer reviewed journals, lectured extensively and was one of the first ophthalmologists to enter the field of laboratory animal toxicology, consulting for a number of major drug companies. He retired from the University of Pennsylvania as a full professor after 31 years of teaching. He was a founding father of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology and served as its president in 1976.

An avid tennis player, fisherman, bridge player par extraordinaire, world traveler and consummate joke teller, he was a loving husband to Barbara for 62 years and to his children, Carol, John and David.      

One thing that I joked about for many years is how much he did not like surgery and that if he never had to put on a pair of gloves he would be so happy. Having said that, apart from his surgical skills, he was the most extraordinary man in the field and the most beloved.

Amanda Brown