Jules Gonin (10 August 1870 – May 1935) was a Professor of ophthalmology in Lausanne who pioneered the procedure of ignipuncture, the first successful surgery for the treatment of retinal detachments.[1][3]

Jules Gonin
Gonin on a 1971 Swiss stamp

(1870-08-10)10 August 1870
DiedMay[1] or June,[2] 1935
Scientific career

Early lifeEdit

Young Jules grew in a family with culture and religious faith. During his schooling he showed talent in languages. He spoke French, Swiss German, Latin and Greek. He also studied English, Spanish and Italian languages.

He got enrolled in the College of Sciences in 1888 and studies medicine at the University of Lausanne. He earned distinction from university for his research studies on butterflies. He entered the institute of Pathology in Lausanne. He developed interest in Ophthalmology and was offered training by Dr. Marc Dufour, then director of the Eye Hospital in Lausanne in 1896.[4]

Nobel PrizeEdit

Gonin was nearly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his innovations in retinal detachment surgery and according to some[5] should have received it. He was seriously considered by the Nobel Committee in 1934.[6] A questionnaire on Gonin's research was sent to ophthalmic authorities around the world, among which all replied favourably, with one only exception. This is believed to have come from an envious countryman, who persuaded the Committee to postpone the award for one year.[5] However, he died unexpectedly in the spring of 1935, before the next prize was awarded.

Other honoursEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Wolfensberger, TJ (December 2003). "Jules Gonin. Pioneer of retinal detachment surgery". Indian J Ophthalmol. 51 (4): 303–8. PMID 14750617.
  2. ^ "Universal-Lexikon". DE academic.
  3. ^ Wolfensberger, Thomas J. "Jules Gonin. Pioneer of retinal detachment surgery". History. Club Jules Gonin. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. ^ Rumpf, J (1976). "Jules Gonin. Inventor of the surgical treatment for retinal detachment". Survey of Ophthalmology. 21 (3): 276–84. doi:10.1016/0039-6257(76)90125-9. PMID 797030.
  5. ^ a b Arruga, A (1997). "Little known aspects of Jules Gonin's life". Doc Ophtalmol. 94 (1–2): 83–90. doi:10.1007/BF02629682. PMID 9657292.
  6. ^ Ravin, James G. (1999). "Gullstrand, Einstein, and the Nobel Prize". Arch. Ophthalmol. 117 (5): 670–672. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.5.670.

External linksEdit