Purpose: To report the lifetime activities and accomplishments of Clyde E. Keeler (1900–1994), a pioneer in the study of retinal genetics. Design: Retrospective review. Methods: Assessment of published and unpublished biographical material. Results: Nearly a century ago, Keeler discovered an inherited abnormality in the mouse that causes the absence of rod photoreceptors and is the mouse counterpart of 1 type of human retinitis pigmentosa. Conclusions: In 1923, Keeler serendipitously discovered the so-called rodless mouse, which is now known to be the result of a mutation in the PDEGB gene. The historical name for the mouse strain is rd. This same defect was reported in human patients with retinitis pigmentosa in 1993. Keeler's mouse model is still used in gene therapy studies seeking to cure retinitis pigmentosa.
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