Johannes W. Rohen was born in 1921 and completed his doctorate in medicine at the University of Tubingen in 1946. It was at Tubingen that he started lifelong research on the physiology of the eye. He became chair of anatomy at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in 1964, and retired in 1989. He is the author of many textbooks, which reflect his standing as one of the founders of functional anatomy. He was jointly awarded the Heller Keller Prize for Vision Research for 2007.