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Moran Eye Center CEO Randall J Olson, MD, to Receive Governor’s Medal

Randall J Olson, MD
Randall J Olson, MD

Governor Gary R. Herbert will honor Randall J Olson, MD, professor and chair of the University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and CEO of the John A. Moran Eye Center, with a 2019 Governor's Medal for Science and Technology.

Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, pays tribute each year to outstanding innovators in categories including Lifetime Achievement, Academia/Research, K-12 Science Education, and Industry. Olson will receive the Academia/Research medal at the April 1 Utah Technology and Innovation Summit.

An internationally renowned expert in cataract and intraocular lens (IOL) surgery, Olson established the Moran Eye Center with philanthropic support to create a premier center for ophthalmic care and research that now attracts about 146,000 patient visits annually as people from across the U.S. and worldwide visit Utah to seek highly skilled subspecialty care.

Olson has authored more than 300 professional publications and is the inventor of both surgical instruments and a hypodermic needle system and method to reduce surgical infection. He has co-founded numerous biotechnology companies and created Moran's Sharon Eccles Steele Center for Translational Medicine as a new model for partnerships between academia, philanthropy, and private industry to bring new therapies to market faster.

The medal is the latest honor for Olson, who has received many of the field’s top recognitions, including:

  • 2012 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Binkhorst Medal
  • 2014 University of Utah Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence
  • 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Kelman Award
  • 2015 AAO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2016 International Intra-Ocular Implant Club Jan Worst Medal

Later this year, Olson will celebrate his 40th anniversary leading the department.

Other medal winners are Fred Lampropoulos, chairman and CEO, Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (Lifetime Achievement Award); Diane Crim, Salt Lake Center for Science Education (K-12 Education); and Intermountain Precision Genomics (Industry).

"I congratulate each of this year’s medal winners and I would like to thank them for their contribution to technology innovation in Utah," said Gov. Herbert. "It is contributions like these that keep Utah at the forefront of technology innovation and ensure we have a diverse economy that can weather any economic storm."