Gunter K. von Noorden Young Investigator Award

About the Award

In an effort to promote and acknowledge research in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus by young investigators, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) awards an annual prize.

The award is designed to provide promising young investigators increased exposure and recognition within the scientific and medical community.

Gunter K. von Noorden, MD (1928-2017)

Dr. Gunter K. von Noorden emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1954. He went on to lead a distinguished academic career as a clinician, scientist, and teacher at the University of Iowa, Wilmer Eye Institute, and Baylor College of Medicine, becoming one of the most recognized authorities in our field, both nationally and internationally. He served as President of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), the International Strabismological Association (ISA), the American Orthoptic Council (AOC) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).
He published 310 scientific papers and authored 4 books, including his seminal multi-edition book, Ocular Motility and Binocular Vision: Theory and Management of Strabismus, a cornerstone of ophthalmic education. He inspired countless orthoptists and ophthalmologists, shared his knowledge worldwide, and delivered more than a dozen named lectures, including the prestigious Jackson Memorial (AAO), Bowman (British Ophthalmological Society), Costenbader (AAPOS), Bielschowsky (ISA), and Proctor (ARVO) Lectures.

Dr. von Noorden was a pioneer researcher in visual neurophysiology who transferred discoveries in amblyopia in primates into the clinical arena, and helped us better understand binocular vision, amblyopia, and strabismus.  In this spirit, the Gunter K. von Noorden Young Investigator Award is designed to recognize, encourage and support the next generation of scientists in our field.



  • Applicant is within 12 years of completing a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship or a doctoral degree if a non-clinician.
  • Concentration of research efforts in the field of pediatric ophthalmology or strabismus.

Award Winner

  • Invited to make an 8-minute oral platform presentation at the March 2025 AAPOS Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Receives a certificate of recognition and a $1000 monetary prize.
  • Invited to submit the presentation for publication in the Journal of AAPOS.


  • Any AAPOS member may nominate a candidate for this award. The letter should be submitted with the application packet.
  • Members are limited to one nomination per selection year and may not nominate themselves for the award.
  • The nominating letter should include a brief description of the nominee’s work, as well as its impact on pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.

Nominee Application Packet

Please include the following documents in your application packet:

  • Nomination letter
  • A (second) letter of recommendation from an ophthalmologist or vision scientist who has worked closely with the candidate.
  • Nominee’s current curriculum vitae
  • Copies of published papers (Maximum of 3)
  • Statement of Future Goals and Research Plans (specifically demonstrating the applicant’s reason(s) for interest in vision research)

Final Note

  • Deadline for application packets is August 2, 2024.
  • Award recipient to be notified by end of September 2024.

For further information, please contact

Award Application

Past Gunter K. von Noorden Young Investigator Award Winners

2022: Brenda L. Bohnsack, MD, PhD
(Scottsdale, AZ)
2023: Ta Chen Peter Chang, MD
(New York, NY)
2024: Mary C. Whitman, MD, PhD
(Austin, TX)