Robert Marcus Gunn
Robert Marcus Gunn is a village in Caithness, in the Highland area of Scotland. It is within the Parish of Dunnet.The village centres on the A836–B855 road junction. The A836 leads towards John o' Groats in the east and toward Thurso and Tongue in the west...

 – 29 November 1909, Hindhead
Hindhead is a village in Surrey, England, about 11 miles south-west of Guildford. Neighbouring settlements include Haslemere, Grayshott and Beacon Hill. Hindhead is the highest village in Surrey...

) was a Scottish
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 ophthalmologist remembered for Gunn's sign
AV nicking
AV, or arteriovenous nicking is the phenomenon where, on ophthalmologic examination, an arteriole is seen crossing a venule resulting in impaction of the vein with bulging on either side of the crossing...

 and the Marcus Gunn pupil
Marcus Gunn pupil
Marcus Gunn pupil is a medical sign observed during the swinging-flashlight test whereupon the patient's pupils constrict less when a bright light is swung from the unaffected eye to the affected eye...



Robert Marcus Gunn studied medicine at the University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

and the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, graduating with distinction M.A.
Master of Arts (Scotland)
A Master of Arts in Scotland can refer to an undergraduate academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the ancient universities of Scotland – the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh, while the University of...

 in 1871 and M.B.,C.M. in 1873. He was influenced by James Syme
James Syme
James Syme was a pioneering Scottish surgeon.-Early life:He was born on 7 November in Edinburgh. His father was a writer to the signet and a landowner in Fife and Kinross, who lost most of his fortune in attempting to develop the mineral resources of his property...

, Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister may refer to:*Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister , English surgeon, discovered that cleaning and disinfecting surgical wounds, and bandages, with carbolic acid prevents lethal infections...

 and Douglas Moray Cooper Lamb Argyll Robertson
Douglas Moray Cooper Lamb Argyll Robertson
Douglas Moray Cooper Lamb Argyll Robertson was a Scottish ophthalmologist and surgeon. Argyll Robertson pupil is named after him....

 during his studies. He taught himself direct ophthalmoscopy
Ophthalmoscopy is a test that allows a health professional to see inside the fundus of the eye and other structures using an ophthalmoscope . It is done as part of an eye examination and may be done as part of a routine physical examination...

, a skill for which he would later become particularly noted.

He was a house physician
Pre-registration house officer
Pre-registration house officer , often known as a houseman or house officer, was until 2005 the only job open to medical graduates in the United Kingdom who had just passed their final examinations at medical school and had received their medical degrees.Newly-qualified doctors are only allowed...

 at Moorfields Eye Hospital
Moorfields Eye Hospital
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is an NHS eye hospital located in London, United Kingdom. It is the oldest and largest eye hospital in the world and is internationally renowned for its comprehensive clinical and research activities...

, and then worked in comparative anatomy at University College Hospital
University College Hospital
University College Hospital is a teaching hospital located in London, United Kingdom. It is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is closely associated with University College London ....

. He worked at the Perth District Asylum during the summers of 1874 and 1875, where he examined the fundi
Fundi can refer to:* The plural form of fundus in anatomy, referring to the bottom or the lowest part of a hollow organ; that part which is the farthest from the opening* Fundi in politics; fundamentalist greens, notably in Germany...

 of all the patients. He spent 6 months in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 working under Eduard Jäger von Jaxtthal
Eduard Jäger von Jaxtthal
Eduard Jäger von Jaxtthal was an Austrian ophthalmologist who was a native of Vienna. He was a professor at the University of Vienna, and was son to oculist Friedrich Jäger von Jaxtthal , and grandson to Georg Joseph Beer .Jäger is remembered for his work involving eye operations, and his research...

. He returned to Moorfields in 1875, becoming junior house surgeon and then senior house surgeon in 1876. He introduced Lister's sterile technique, improving the results of cataract
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light...


In December 1879 he travelled to Australia to collect eye specimens from indigenous animals, publishing work on comparative anatomy of the eye in the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology. He also examined specimens from the Challenger expedition
Challenger expedition
The Challenger expedition of 1872–76 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger....

 after his return to England.

He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons is a professional qualification to practise as a surgeon in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland...

 in 1882, and became assistant surgeon at Moorfields in 1883, and surgeon in 1888. He was also appointed ophthalmic surgeon to the Hospital for Sick Children
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is a children's hospital located in London, United Kingdom...

 in 1883 and to the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, Queen Square
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery is a neurological hospital in London, United Kingdom and part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust...

 in 1886. In 1898 he was Vice-President of the Section of Ophthalmology of the British Medical Association
British Medical Association
The British Medical Association is the professional association and registered trade union for doctors in the United Kingdom. The association does not regulate or certify doctors, a responsibility which lies with the General Medical Council. The association’s headquarters are located in BMA House,...

, and was President of the section in 1906. He was President of the Ophthalmological Society in 1907, at which time he was senior surgeon at Moorfields. In this role he introduced the systematic teaching of eye disease which had impressed him in Vienna previously.
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