Established November 14, 2013

In 1948 EDMUND F. BALL took the reins of the Ball Corporation, a glass container company founded by his father and uncles. Under his leadership, it went on to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of metal, glass, and plastic packaging for home and commercial use. In addition, in 1949 Mr. Ball founded the Minnetrista Corporation, a wholesaler of aircraft and earth anchors.

The Ball family’s association with the Wilmer Eye Institute goes back to the institute’s beginnings, when Mr. Ball’s mother was a patient of William Holland Wilmer, the first director.


Edmund Ball and his wife, VIRGINIA B. BALL, served as active members of the Wilmer Advisory Board, giving generous support to both the Wilmer Building Fund and the Arnall Patz Distinguished Professorship. Together with Hopkins ophthalmologist A. Edward Maumenee, Mr. Ball worked to found the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, one of the first philanthropic organizations to focus on vision.

Shortly before he died in 2000, Mr. Ball made the commitment to endow this professorship. Mrs. Ball carried out that commitment to support research into macular degeneration and other retinal disorders. She died in 2003.


J. Fernando Arévalo, M.D., FACS, is the son of a very prestigious pediatric ophthalmologist in Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Fernando Arevalo- Coutinho (1928-89). Dr. Arévalo completed medical and ophthalmology training in his native country of Caracas, Venezuela. He then traveled to Bogotá, Colombia for a two-year Retina and Vitreous fellowship at the Barraquer Institute and the Fundacion Oftalmologica Nacional, University of El Rosario, in 1992-93. After intensive training in these two world famous institutions, he traveled to the United States for a 2-year Retina and Vitreous/Uveitis and Intraocular Inflammation fellowship at the University of California, San Diego from 1993-95 under the mentoring of Dr. William Freeman. The following year, Dr. Arévalo went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his Ocular Oncology fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital under the mentoring of Drs. Jerry and Carol Shields.

Upon completing his fellowship training in Colombia and the United States, Dr. Arévalo returned to Venezuela in 1996, where he was appointed to the rank of Chairman of Ophthalmology at the Clinica Oftalmologica Centro Caracas in Caracas, Venezuela, and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela. Under his leadership, the Clinica Oftalmologica Centro Caracas grew in stature, training ophthalmologists from Venezuela and neighboring countries and providing modern eye care for countless patients. Dr. Arévalo has become recognized as one of the leading ophthalmologists in South America and in 2001 founded the Arévalo- Coutinho Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology to honor his father.

In July 2011, Dr. Arévalo was invited by Johns Hopkins University, Wilmer Eye Institute to be the Chief of the Retina Division of the King Khaled Eye Hospital (KKESH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. An affiliation between JHU and KKESH was started in 2010 with the objective of elevating the clinical, research and academic level of KKESH.

Dr. Arévalo has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of vitreoretinal disease. As a gifted surgeon, he has performed more than 4000 retinal detachment operations. He also teaches and conducts clinical research that has led to advances in the treatment of complex retinal detachments, vitreoretinal complications of refractive surgery, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

As a clinical scientist, Dr. Arévalo has more than 800 scientific publications (over a hundred and seventy articles in MEDLINE), ten books, more than 600 scientific paper presentations authored or co-authored, and more than 800 invited lecture presentations in North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and Asia that have led to international recognition and awards.