We Remember

Drs. Randie and Rob in India

Cassandra “Randie” Lee Schlamp, PhD


Dr. Cassandra Schlamp, PhD, affectionately called Randie, passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with inflammatory breast cancer. Randie was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Upon obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree, she left Winnipeg to attend the University of Western Ontario, where she completed her PhD. From there, she relocated to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana for her postdoctoral studies where she met the love of her life, Dr. Rob Nickells. They made a great team, eventually settling in Madison, Wisconsin where they worked together for the past 23 years researching the biology of glaucoma at UW–Madison. Randie had a true passion for science and also loved animals, travel and curling. The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is ever-grateful for the courage, knowledge and joy she brought to the world.

Dr. John William “Jack” Chandler Jr.


Dr. John William Chandler

Dr. John William “Jack” Chandler, Jr., former Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (1986-1990), died peacefully at home in Madison, Wisconsin. Jack attended UW–Madison, earning his bachelor’s degree, followed by his MD in 1965. He completed his ophthalmology and cornea fellowship training at the University of Washington and the University of Florida, respectively. In 1973, Jack received his board certification and went on to have a distinguished career in ophthalmology. Jack’s role in developing UW–Madison’s nationally prominent, diversified department that we know today, balancing clinical care, and serious clinical, basic and translational research, is hard to overstate. “Jack met challenges head-on, and what emerged was University Station and the beginning of major clinical outreach programs, such as Mauston. He also oversaw two major NIH-funded projects that led to 7,500 square feet of new research space, and recruited four new basic science faculty,” recalls Dr. Paul Kaufman. “It is fitting that his last days were spent in proximity to the institution he served so well.”

Dr. Matthew Dinsdale “Dinny” Davis


Dr. Matthew Dinsdale “Dinny” Davis passed away on March 5, 2018 surrounded by loved ones. He left a legacy of accomplishment as a clinician, educator, leader and tireless researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for more than 60 years. He is recognized worldwide for his work as a pioneering retina specialist who helped establish standards for analyzing diabetic retinopathy and other retinal eye diseases. Dr. Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in 1947 and completed an ophthalmology residency in 1955 at UW–Madison. After serving two years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he then trained at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Davis returned to Madison and joined his father, Frederick A. Davis, MD, and Peter Duehr, MD, in private practice, as well as at the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Division of the UW Department of Surgery. He elevated the division into the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and served as its first chair from 1970 to 1986.

Dr. Matthew Dinsdale “Dinny” Davis

In 1971, the newly established National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health asked Dr. Davis to serve as study chair for the groundbreaking Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS). Results of this seminal study established the standard classification scheme and therapy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, eventually substantially reducing the risk of severe vision loss. At that time, approximately half of all patients diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy became legally blind within five years. Over the next decade that figure dropped to five percent. Dr. Davis formed the Fundus Photograph Reading Center (FPRC) – the first centralized, independent retinal imaging program to facilitate randomized clinical trials of retinal disease treatments. Dr. Davis and his collaborators established the gold standards for the classification of multiple retinal eye diseases.

Dinny, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, received many honors over the years and was recently named the 2016 Laureate by the American Academy of Ophthalmology — the highest award given by this society — for his contributions.

"The impact that Dr. Davis has had on patients and the field of ophthalmology throughout his entire faculty tenure at UW-Madison is immeasurable. He has had a profound influence on many of us within and outside of our organization. For those of us privileged to know him, his exemplary scholarship, integrity, humility and compassion will be indelibly imprinted."

Terri L. Young, Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences