Skip Navigation
Return to All Schools

The Allan and Shelley Holt Rising Professorship

School of Medicine

Established in 2021 by Allan and Shelley Holt

The ALLAN and SHELLEY HOLT Rising Professorship, part of the Sanford and Susan Greenberg Center to End Blindness at the Wilmer Eye Institute, provides financial support for an assistant professor that is equivalent to Wilmer’s traditional professorships for senior faculty members.

“A rising professorship is an opportunity for our best and brightest to get their research programs up to speed years sooner than would happen through the traditional standard pathway,” says Wilmer Director Peter J. McDonnell, M.D.

“I have tremendous respect and admiration for Sandy and Susan Greenberg, and frankly it was an easy decision to support their work and their center at Wilmer,” Holt says. Holt says he’s inspired by the prospect of someday ending blindness. “It’s a noble goal,” he says.

Held by Thomas Johnson III

THOMAS JOHNSON III, M.D., Ph.D., the inaugural recipient of the Allan and Shelley Holt Rising Professorship, is on a mission to turn findings in the lab into therapies that will dramatically improve the lives of patients. He leads a translational neuroscience laboratory that focuses on stem cell transplantation to regenerate damaged optic nerves. This work has the potential to someday restore vision damaged by conditions like eye stroke, an injury to the optic nerve caused by restricted blood flow in the eye, as well as by diseases like glaucoma, the world’s second leading cause of blindness. His lab is part of an effort dubbed the Audacious Goals Initiative for Regenerative Medicine by the National Eye Institute.