Many of you knew Qais Farjo as a tireless physician, surgeon, researcher, friend, and mentor. He was also the epitome of a “Michigan Man,” having enrolled in the Inteflex program and then completing his residency and fellowship training here before joining the U-M Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences for several years.
In addition to restoring sight for numerous patients and serving as medical director of the Michigan Eye-Bank, Qais also made extraordinary contributions to basic research through his characterization of the NRL gene, which is now known to be a master transcription factor that governs photoreceptor cell fate during development.
Qais shaped the careers and lives of those around him through his knowledge, kindness, patience, and humor. He was a gifted surgeon who tackled the most complex cases with perseverance and treated his patients with compassion. Qais fought a courageous battle against cancer, and when he passed away in February 2014, a beloved friend, brilliant surgeon, and compassionate healer was lost.
This endowed Lectureship will be a fitting tribute to one of our Department’s most talented alumni, and will be created through the generosity of those who were touched by his life. Designed to capture Qais’ diverse interests in research, clinical care, and education, the Lectureship will enable the Department to host speakers who will share advances in their specialties — from collaborative care to innovative surgical techniques to translational research.
The Lectureship will be featured at our Fall Reunion each year.
Qais A. Farjo, MD, Memorial Lecturers
- 2021: Sally Camper, Margery Shaw Distinguished University Professor of Human Genetics, University of Michigan School of Medicine
- 2019: José-Alain Sahel, MD, PhD, Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- 2018: Roy Beck, MD, PhD, former faculty member and Founder, JAEB Center for Health Research
- 2017: Katherine A. High, MD, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Spark Therapeutics
- 2016: Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD, former faculty member and Director, National Eye Institute
- 2015: Anand Swaroop, PhD, former faculty member and Chief, Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory, National Eye Institute
How to Make a Gift
A gift at this time would be an especially meaningful tribute to our dear friend, mentor, and colleague. Your generosity will make it possible for us to establish this Lectureship and celebrate Qais’ extraordinary spirit and passion. He was too humble to envision or desire such an honor, but his embodiment of these traits are precisely what merit recognition.
To make a gift or to learn about multiple giving options, please the Office of Development at 734-763-0875.
On behalf of the Department and the Farjo family, thank you for your support.