The development of the retina was the basis of much of his research and of many of his publications. Michaelson worked as a pathologist in an eye disease hospital in Glasgow and served as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
In 1949, Michaelson was named director of department of ophthalmology at Rambam Hospital, Haifa and, in 1954, became director of the department of ophthalmology at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, which subsequently became, under his management, the Ophthalmology Research Center. He was also appointed as a professor at the medical school of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Much of Michaelson's work was to assist developing countries, particularly in Africa, and in 1971 he initiated the International Conference on the Prevention of Blindness. After his retirement from Hadassah Hospital in 1973, he acted in blind rehabilitation.
He established the Jerusalem Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.
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