Scientists in a field investigating (cover of 2018 annual report)

Gaining critical knowledge about the science and art
of vision and applying it to the prevention of blindness


Stream our Summer Vision Research Update!

Dr. David Gamm presents advances in vision research from McPherson ERI scientists, and answers questions on macular degeneration, RP, glaucoma and other vision topics.

A New Approach to a Rare, Incurable Form of Blindness

A collaboration among four McPherson ERI member labs has resulted in a proof-of-concept method to correct an inherited form of macular degeneration that causes blindness, and that is currently untreatable.  The research focused on Best disease and demonstrated that a two-tiered gene therapy strategy may be able to treat all Best disease mutations in a highly effective manner.  An in-depth account of their work is in the McPherson ERI Summer 2020 InSights.

In Memoriam: Oscar C. Boldt, 1924-2020

The McPherson ERI deeply regrets the passing of Oscar C. Boldt, an extraordinary individual who, along with his wife Pat, was a founding Advisory Board member and friend to the Institute for many years.  The McPherson ERI’s home is in WIMR II, an outstanding state-of-the-art research complex built by Boldt Construction on West Campus.  Our condolences go out to Pat and to O.C.’s family and friends.

For an update on McPherson ERI glaucoma research, please check out our Spring 2020 Newsletter.

Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grants 2020 Announced

The McPherson Eye Research Institute’s Research and Leadership Committees are pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grants.  Anjani Sreepada Chakrala, Ralph W. Nelson, and Abhilash Sawant will each receive a one-year grant award of $4000 funded by the Institute’s Cycle for Sight event, which raises money to support vision research in McPherson ERI member labs and programs.

Cycle for Sight 2020 Sets an Event Record!

Cycle for Sight 2020 has raised over $65,000 for vision research at UW-Madison, and also set a participant record (close to 300!)  Check out these pictures from Cycle for Sight 2020!

SMPH team at Cycle for Sight 2020
School of Medicine and Public Health riders at Cycle for Sight 2020

Schloss Lab Receives Grant to Understand Visual Reasoning

Karen Schloss, Assistant Professor in UW-Madison’s Department of Psychology, has received a grant for $558,702 from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program.  The award is for a project intended to advance the understanding of visual reasoning for visual communication.

Our 2019 Annual Report is available online:

McPherson ERI 2019 Annual Report

McPherson ERI Hosts MERI-at-a-Glance 2019

Institute members and others interested in vision research gathered at WID on Friday, November 22nd for the McPherson ERI’s research-focused gathering.  Eight McPherson ERI members gave short scientific presentations, alongside a pizza lunch and time for networking and discussion.

2019 McPherson ERI Vision Science Poster Session

Our annual poster session was held on Thursday, October 24th, bringing approximately 100 McPherson ERI members and associated lab members to the SMPH atrium.  Following the poster session, distinguished guest lecturer Margaret S. Livingstone spoke on “What Art Can Tell Us About the Brain.”

Dr. Ronald Klein, 1943-2019

We note with sorrow the passing of Dr. Ronald Klein, Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and world-renowned epidemiologist.

Andreas Velten’s Group Describes Advances in “Non-line-of-sight imaging” in Nature Report

In a report in the August 5th, 2019 issue of Nature, Assistant Professor Andreas Velten and his colleagues describe recent advances in the ability to capture images around barriers – a long-term goal brought closer by their recent work.

Novel Imaging Tech Brings Together Madison, Milwaukee Vision Researchers

The Morgridge Institute for Research recently highlighted a collaboration between two McPherson ERI vision scientists, Melissa Skala at UW-Madison and Joseph Carroll at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  Read more about both scientists in McPherson ERI’s Insights – Melissa Scala from Summer 2017, Joseph Carroll from Spring 2019.

Congratulations to the Retina Research Foundation for 50 Years of Achievement!

The McPherson ERI and UW-Madison congratulate the Retina Research Foundation on its 50th Anniversary.  RRF was founded by Dr. Alice McPherson in Houston in October 1969, with the mission to reduce retinal blindness worldwide by funding programs in research and education.

Dr. Alice McPherson
Alice McPherson, MD

Beginning with the first pilot research grant funded in 1973, RRF now supports a wide diversity of programs worldwide, including pilot research grants, chairs and professorships, research awards recognizing lifetime achievement, international fellowships training in developing countries, and educational and travel scholarships — all achieved through collaboration with the finest universities (including UW-Madison) and ophthalmological organizations.

Dr. Charles Zuker Delivers 7th Annual McPherson Endowed Lecture

Charles Zuker, PhD (Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) gave the 7th Annual McPherson Endowed Lecture on Monday, May 6, 2019 in the DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building.  His talk, “From Receptors to Behavior,” focused on his recent work on identifying the cells and receptors which mediate the five basic taste qualities, and uncovering the logic of taste coding.  Dr. Zuker is recognized for his studies on the molecular biology, genetics and physiology of multiple senses, including phototransduction and mechanotransduction.

2019 Calendar and 2018 Annual Report

The McPherson ERI’s 2018 Annual Report is available now, wrapped within a colorful 2019 wall calendar featuring images from 5 years of the Mandelbaum & Albert Family Vision Gallery.  Feel free to contact us if you’d like a print copy!

New Walsh Family Professorship Will Support “Cutting-Edge Vision Research”

The McPherson Eye Research Institute is pleased to announce the establishment of the David and Nancy Walsh Family Professorship in Vision Research, intended to support “cutting-edge vision research” at the Institute.

McPherson ERI Grant Summit Program 

Grand Summit Program logoFederal funding is increasingly difficult to obtain, yet it remains the driving force behind most research programs. The McPherson ERI Grant Summit Program seeks to increase support for UW-Madison vision research by facilitating successful resubmissions of federal grant applications. Toward this end, we have developed a simple and rapid mechanism whereby McPherson ERI members who “just miss” funding cut-offs can obtain Institute support to address issues raised by reviewers (e.g., study section), thus increasing their odds of a positive outcome. Here are the Grant Summit Program guidelines and application. Applications are welcomed at any time and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with no internal deadlines nor pre-determined grant quotas.

Past News Article Archive

Grand Summit Program logo

The McPherson ERI Grant Summit Program seeks to increase support for UW-Madison vision research by facilitating successful resubmissions of federal grant applications. Grant Summit Program guidelines and the application form provide detailed information. Applications are welcomed at any time and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with no internal deadlines nor pre-determined grant quotas.


Spring 2020 Seminar Schedule                           April and May 2020 seminars will be rescheduled for Fall 2020.

Fall 2020 Poster Session and Lecture, date TBD

Cycle for Sight
March 2021, date TBA

Science Expeditions Photos
This April’s Science Expeditions have been canceled.

Vision Science Instructional Lectures

Vision Gallery
Changes periodically

Vision at the Vet School
Our June 2020 event has been canceled.

The 8th Annual McPherson ERI Endowed Lecture has been canceled, and may be rescheduled for a future time.


Summer 2020

McPherson ERI Newsletter Summer 2020

Summer 2020 Newsletter cover

Spring 2020

McPherson ERI Newsletter Spring 2020

Fall 2019

McPherson ERI Newsletter Fall 2019

Summer 2019

McPherson ERI Newsletter Summer 2019

Spring 2019

McPherson ERI Newsletter Spring 2019

Spring 2019 newsletter cover image

Fall 2018

McPherson ERI Fall 2018 Newsletter