John D. Bullock MED’66



John D. Bullock D'65, MED’66

Career Achievement

Emeritus Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Clinical Professor of Population and Public Health, and The Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, OH



Dr. John Bullock is a research epidemiologist, ophthalmologist, microbiologist, and forensic medical historian. He has had a distinguished career in clinical and academic ophthalmology, research, invention, and teaching. He has over 240 publications to his credit. During 25 years as a clinician, John cared for over 50,000 patients, performed over 10,000 ocular/orbital operations, documented 3 new causes of blindness, and elucidated the cause and/or description of 10 different retinal disorders. After an injury ended his clinical career in 2000, John turned his focus to epidemiology, mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, and medical history. He has published his investigations of the ten plagues of Egypt and the blindnesses of the Biblical St. Paul, Dom Perignon (the credited inventor of champagne), and Leonhard Euler (the Swiss genius honored by 96 eponymous mathematical terms), among others. He was awarded membership in AOA and Delta Omega (the Honorary Society of Public Health). He has been a member of the esteemed American Ophthalmological Society since 1983 and serves on the Board of Governor's of the American Osler Society. He was appointed to the Editorial Boards of 8 medical journals, including Nature (Public Health).


John’s investigation of a worldwide outbreak of fusarium infections of the eye in 2004-06 revealed the culprit: plastic bottles of an over-the-counter eye product had been stored in an unair-conditioned warehouse exposed to hot southern weather. His subsequent 10 peer-reviewed research papers (including one in the New England Journal of Medicine) documented that at high temperatures the plastic containers absorbed the solution’s preservative. Subsequent fungal infections led to visual impairment and blindness.


As his expertise has increased over the decades, so too has John’s commitment to teaching. His past fellows have held faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, Penn State, and Stanford, among other institutions. Three have served as academic department chairs of ophthalmology and one became the CEO of a world-renowned medical center. In addition, John has given hundreds of lectures across the U.S. and around the world. In 2001, he was invited by the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Plastic Surgery Division to present the prestigious Wendell Hughes Lecture, entitled “The Biophysical Basis of Ocular and Orbital Trauma.”


John graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and medical sciences. He pursued his medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School and at Harvard Medical School, and since 2018 has served on Geisel’s Alumni Council. John was a medical intern at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a medical officer in the U.S. Navy. He completed his residency and post-doctoral fellowship in ophthalmology at Yale University in New Haven, CT, and was a post-doctoral fellow in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and, in orbital surgery, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. In 1982, he earned a Master of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology and, in 2003, his MPH degree (with a focus in quantitative epidemiology) from the Harvard School of Public Health. He received additional training from the CDC, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


He attained Fellowship status in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American College of Epidemiology.


Return to Alumni Awards Homepage