November 29, 2020

Dr. Robert Jampel, former Ophthalmology chair, dies at age 94

Robert Jampel, M.D., Ph.D., former chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Kresge Eye Institute, died Nov. 26. He was 94.

He served as of chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Kresge Eye Institute from 1970 to 1994.

“Dr. Jampel was my chairman as a medical student and resident,” said Mark Juzych, M.D.,  chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences. “He was a humble and kind person who treated everyone with deep respect. He was a devoted father and family man.”

Robert Jampel, M.D.



Dr. Jampel graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, in 1950. After completing a neurology residency and an ophthalmic residency at the University of Michigan, Dr. Jampel received a doctoral degree in anatomy. He joined the faculty of the State University of New York in 1958, and in 1968 became a neuro-ophthalmologist at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Institute of Ophthalmology. He was appointed professor and chair of the WSU Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Kresge Eye Institute in 1970.

Under his leadership, Kresge Eye Institute’s growth led to two relocations. He recruited outstanding clinical faculty and full-time research scientists to the institute, which has become a national leader in cataracts, corneal disease, glaucoma, reconstructive surgery, retina and neuro-ophthalmology, and diabetic retinopathy.

The Kresge Eye Institute’s Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D., Auditorium is named for the fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, as is the Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, the Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D., Lectureship in Ophthalmology, and the Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D., Endowed Prize in Ophthalmology.

“Dr. Jampel always supported research, and he himself would present his data at our yearly ARVO practice run before the meeting,” said Linda Hazlett, Ph.D., the Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D., Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology, and vice dean of Research and Graduate Programs. “I am honored to hold the chair he endowed, which supports ophthalmology research.”

The funeral was conducted during a private family service Nov. 29.

Dr. Jampel is survived by his wife, Joan; sons, Dr. Henry (Dr. Risa) Jampel and James (Dr. Sandra Marwill) Jampel; daughters, Delia (John Frank) Jampel and Emily (Ted) Sherman; and many grandchildren.

The family suggests that those wishing to honor Dr. Jampel’s memory may make a contribution to: Wayne State University Gift Processing, P.O. Box 674602, Detroit, MI, 48201-4602, Memo: Jampel KEI Growth and Maintenance Fund.

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