SALT LAKE CITY — Dr. Randall J. Olson, professor and chairman of ophthalmology and visual sciences and CEO of the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah, received this year's Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence from the U.

The $40,000 gift is presented annually to a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts, according to the U.

"Dr. Olson has a long, rich history with the university and is an inspired choice for this honor," U. President David W. Pershing said. "His forward-thinking leadership has effectively put the Moran Eye Center on the national map."

Olson holds a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he has been a faculty member since 1979 and full professor from 1982. He became the CEO of the Moran Eye Center in 2006.

Under his leadership, the U.'s ophthalmology program grew from a single faculty member in 1979 to "one of the nation's top ophthalmology programs and vision institutes in the world — the John A. Moran Eye Center," said Vivian Lee, senior vice president for health sciences at the U.

The Rosenblatt endowment, from which the prize money is drawn, was established in 1983 by the Joseph and Evelyn Rosenblatt family to honor the civic leadership and generosity of Joseph Rosenblatt's parents, Nathan and Tillie Rosenblatt, who immigrated to Utah from Russia in the late 19th century.