Daniel M. Albert was born December 19, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey. He received his B.S. degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (cum laude) and an M.D. degree, internship, and residency in ophthalmology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed research fellowships in pathology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1966-68) and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), and later obtained an M.S. degree in health administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Albert has held numerous academic appointments at Penn Med, Yale, and Harvard. His hospital appointments have included chief, Eye Pathology Laboratory, and chief, Section of Ophthalmic Tumor Research and Pathology, at Yale-New Haven Hospital; and associate surgeon, director, David G. Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory (1976-1992), surgeon in ophthalmology and associate chief for Academic Affairs at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has been involved in medical student teaching and staff training since 1969.
In 1992 Dr. Albert arrived at the University of Wisconsin, where he served as the chair (1992-2002) and current chair emeritus of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He has also held appointments at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin; and as director, Ocular Oncology Focus Group, UW Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In 2002, Dr. Albert founded the McPherson Eye Research Institute in order to spur collaboration among vision researchers across UW-Madison. He has served as the director (2002-12), Retina Research Foundation Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director (2007-12), and founding director (2012-) of the Institute. The Daniel M. Albert Professorship in Visual Sciences (now the Daniel M. Albert Chair) was established in 2008 to honor his contributions to visual science.
Since July, 2016, Dr. Albert has served as Professor of Ophthalmology at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon.
His research focuses on ocular tumors, specifically retinoblastoma and melanoma, and adnexal tumors including natural history, treatment, morphology, ultrastructure, and etiology. He participated in cloning the retinoblastoma gene. From 1985-2003, he worked with the National Eye Institute’s Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) and was the head of the COMS Pathology Center; he remains curator of the specimens collected during the study. Dr. Albert has written and lectured extensively on medical history; he is a bibliophile and has collected rare medical and scientific texts and ephemera, much of which he has donated to educational institutions. He has contributed over 600 scientific papers, over 100 chapters, and 40 texts to his fields of interest. Dr. Albert has also served on many editorial boards; as the associate editor (1991-) and editor (1994-) of History of Ophthalmology (Documenta Ophthalmologica); and as the editor-in-chief of the Archives of Ophthalmology (1994-).
Dr. Albert has belonged to many professional societies, and is a founding member and former president of the Cogan Ophthalmic History Society. His numerous awards and honors include the Friedenwald Award, ARVO (1982); von Sallman Prize, ISER (1988); Humboldt Research Award (1991); Doctor Honoris Causa, Université Louis Pasteur (1992); Pisart Vision Award, (1997); Distinguished Graduate Award, Penn Med (2001); ARVO Gold Fellow (2009); and Life Achievement Honor Award, AAO (2010).