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Vision researcher Carroll, Class of ’97, will deliver commencement address

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JoeCarroll-webThe commencement address at UW-Green Bay’s spring 2014 graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 17 will be delivered by a distinguished UW-Green Bay graduate whose career as an ophthalmology researcher and university professor has resulted in widespread attention for his pioneering work in the study of the human eye at a cellular level.

Dr. Joseph J. Carroll, Ph.D., is an associate professor of ophthalmology, biophysics, cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He also serves as adjunct associate professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University.

He is a 1997 graduate of UW-Green Bay’s undergraduate program in Human Biology.

Carroll co-directs the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advanced Ocular Imaging Program. He achieved a prestigious career milestone earlier this year with his appointment as the college’s Richard O. Schultz, MD/Ruth Works Professor in Ophthalmology. He was among the first to use a technology called adaptive optics to view the living retina at a cellular level, and he was credited with important breakthroughs in the study of color blindness. He is a specialist in retinal diseases including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosis. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Vision for Tomorrow Foundation and other organizations, and he is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications.

Carroll’s achievements in the medical sciences have brought community recognition, as well. He was identified as a rising leader by Milwaukee Business Journal with his selection to this spring’s “40 Under 40” list.

A native of Shawano County, Carroll is a graduate of Tigerton High School. He was prodded by science teacher Gary Kuchenbecker, a 1970 UW-Green Bay grad, to apply himself and pursue an aptitude for science. Carroll was persuaded to participate in a six-week pre-college summer program at UW-Green Bay known as RCMS — the Regional Center for Math and Science, for students from rural areas or disadvantaged backgrounds — and he enjoyed it so much he made the decision to attend college and enroll at UW-Green Bay.

Believed to be the first “graduate” of the RCMS summer program to obtain a Ph.D., Carroll remains an advocate and has returned to UW-Green Bay several times to counsel and encourage participants to trust their abilities, commit to scientific careers, enroll in college and become lifelong learners.

After receiving his UW-Green Bay bachelor’s degree, Carroll enrolled at MCW and earned his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology in 2002. He served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester in New York and returned to MCW as a faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology in 2006.

Carroll was recognized previously at UW-Green Bay in 2007, selected by the University and its Alumni Association as recipient of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award.

UW-Green Bay’s 45th spring-summer commencement will take place at the Kress Events Center on campus at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (May 17). More than 900 graduating students are eligible to participate. A capacity house of approximately 5,000 is expected for the presentation of diplomas and the ceremonies that will include Carroll’s address.

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