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H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD

H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD

Co-Founder, Glaucoma Research Foundation
(1940-2024) Former Executive Vice President, American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco, CA

H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD passed away peacefully on January 27, 2024 at age 84. Dr. Hoskins served on our Board of Directors for 38 years. In 2009, he received our highest honor, the Catalyst Award for his exemplary leadership in advancing innovative glaucoma research and education.

He was an internationally recognized glaucoma specialist, having authored or coauthored more than 90 publications and presented more than 350 invited lectures in over 30 countries. A devoted and respected clinician for 45 years, Dr. Hoskins was an exceptional teacher and researcher. In addition to his practice at the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, he was a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco.

In 1978 with generous philanthropic support from their patients, Dr. Hoskins and his colleagues, Robert N. Shaffer, MD, and John (Jack) Hetherington, Jr. MD, established Glaucoma Research Foundation. Their goal was to fund research to discover more effective medications for their patients. Dr. Hoskins noted, “We weren’t seeing enough hope for our patients back then. We desperately needed better treatments. We knew we needed some breakthroughs, and urgently. But we also knew we needed to expand the field of glaucoma research and bring more innovative thinkers. We thought this kind of entrepreneurial research would be a catalyst for others, and we could accelerate the rate of discovery.”

Dunbar contributed greatly to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and served as Executive Vice President from 1993 to 2009. He received many honors from the AAO including an Academy Honor Award in 1979, Senior Honor Award in 1989, Distinguished Service Award in 1999, Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and the Laureate Recognition Award in 2023.

He held numerous other positions in ophthalmology, medicine and business including serving as the Founding Director of the American Glaucoma Society, Secretary-Treasurer of the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology, Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the International Council of Ophthalmology, Chairman of St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, Founder and Chairman of Medicom Corporation, and Chairman of the Board of Mercy Services Corporation. He was also a retired Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve.

He was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. The son of an ophthalmologist, Dunbar attended the Medical College of Virginia and completed a glaucoma fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco under glaucoma pioneer Dr. Robert N. Shaffer. Dunbar joined Bob Shaffer’s practice, along with John “Jack” Hetherington, Jr., in 1972.

Dr. Hoskins’ belief in patient-centered care drove his research and his clinical practice. His distinguished career included research into improving the treatment – and therefore the lives – of people living with glaucoma and preventing blindness. We are comforted to know that his legacy will continue in the lives of patients and the careers of ophthalmologists worldwide. Together, we will continue his efforts to advance promising scientific discovery toward new therapies for glaucoma and support the next generation of catalysts needed to bring us closer to a cure and a future free from glaucoma.