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National Eye Institute Launches David G. Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Collection

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The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced a new online resource for pathologists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, and students. The David G. Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Collection, a study and teaching collection of clinical ophthalmic cases and their pathology, is now available worldwide from the NEI Website at http://www.nei.nih.gov.

“The Cogan Collection will serve as a critical component to further our understanding of eye diseases and their treatments,” said NEI director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. “Knowledge of pathology is absolutely essential to the overall study and understanding of eye diseases. The Cogan Collection has the enormous potential to impact the teaching of ophthalmic pathology and clinical ophthalmology with the resultant improvement in diagnosis and treatment of patients.”

The Internet-accessible Cogan Collection comprises 1,040 cases and 3,000 slides. The clinical descriptions and photographs were collected by David G. Cogan, M.D. during his career as both a clinical and research ophthalmologist.

Prior to coming to the NEI, Dr. Cogan served as director of the Howe Laboratory of the Harvard Medical School for 33 years. During this time he contributed greatly to the direction of ophthalmic research and made significant contributions to the field of neurology. He also served as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; chief editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology; and member of the editorial boards of Investigative Ophthalmology and the Albrecht Von Graefes Archiv fur Klinishe und Experimentelle Ophthalmologie. Dr. Cogan was also among the initial members of the National Advisory Eye Council of the NEI.

When Dr. Cogan retired from Harvard in 1973, Carl Kupfer, M.D., who was the NEI director at the time, invited him to join NEI as a senior scientist and clinician. He conducted research and worked with young investigators at the NEI for 20 years before his death in 1993. Dr. Cogan contributed in many areas of research, patient care, and education, and authored more than 500 articles.

During this time, Dr. Cogan asked Dr. Kupfer to preserve his collection of clinical cases and pathology reports from more than 6,000 patients by archiving them as a study and teaching collection of ophthalmic pathology. When Dr. Kupfer stepped down from the NEI Directorship in 2000, a position he held for 30 years, he began assessing Dr. Cogan’s collection of clinical materials and ophthalmic pathology slides.

“From the start, I was excited by the possibility of making Dr. Cogan’s vast collection available to students and eye care professionals worldwide,” said Dr. Kupfer. “The primary purpose of this database is to serve as a study and teaching tool. Without a doubt, understanding pathology enhances the ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases of the eye and visual system. Anyone in the world with Internet access can call up the material and use it for study, teaching, and other purposes.”

Through the efforts of Dr. Kupfer and others at NEI, a portion of Dr. Cogan’s pathology slides and clinical descriptions have been electronically converted and are available online. For more information and to access the David G. Cogan Ophthalmic Pathology Collection, please visit: http://www.nei.nih.gov.

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The National Eye Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the Federal government’s lead agency for vision research that leads to sight-saving treatments and plays a key role in reducing visual impairment and blindness. The NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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