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5.15.2012

UM Mourns Glaucoma Specialist Francisco Fantes, M.D.

Francisco E. Fantes, M.D., 57, professor of clinical ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, passed away at home on May 11 following a brief illness.

Over the course of his career at UM, Dr. Fantes taught and supervised hundreds of residents and fellows. He was also course director for the Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology, which draws more than 500 ophthalmologists from Latin American and the Caribbean to Miami each year.

“Dr. Fantes was an excellent and caring physician, but even more so, he was an extraordinary friend, colleague, husband, and father who will be missed by everyone who knew him,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., chairman of ophthalmology and director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

“Francisco was many things: scientist, physician, scholar, inventor, and, above all else – a teacher,” added Richard K. Parrish II, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education. “He was never as happy as when he was conducting the Curso Interamericano with co-directors Paul Palmberg and Eddie Alfonso at his side. He lived to teach and to learn.”

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Fantes earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Central University of Caracas. He completed an ophthalmology residency and glaucoma research fellowship at Bascom Palmer and a cornea fellowship at Emory University.

After returning briefly to Venezuela, where he was in private practice for four years, he accepted a position as a glaucoma specialist on the Bascom Palmer faculty in 1995, and remained there until his death.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 31 years, Lourdes Cuervo de Fantes, his sons Francisco and Ignacio, his mother Liris Mijares de Fantes, his brothers Oswaldo (Ana Mercedes) and Ricardo (Marianne). He was predeceased by his father Franzel Fantes Kerdel and his brother Federico.

The family requests that donations be sent to the Ophthalmology Research Foundation-Francisco Fantes Fund, c/o Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, P.O. Box 016880 (D-880), Miami, FL 33101.

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