University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dr. Alice McPherson’s Gonin Medal donated to UW Archives

The Gonin Medal, a renowned award given every four years by the Board of the International Council of Ophthalmology, has been called the Nobel Prize of ophthalmology.  In 2014, the Medal was awarded to Dr. Alice McPherson, UW-Madison alumna and namesake co-founder of the McPherson Eye Research Institute, for pioneering work in the treatment of retinal diseases.

This spring, Dr. McPherson donated her Gonin Medal, along with the accompanying citation and other materials, to the UW-Madison Archives, where it joins noteworthy artifacts and papers by many prominent UW-Madison faculty (including such scientists as noted cancer research pioneer Howard Temin).  Dr. McPherson’s Gonin Medal will be on long-term display in the Mandelbaum & Albert Family Vision Gallery on the 9th floor of the WIMR II building, 1111 Highland Ave.

Dr. Alice McPherson and Gonin Medal display
Dr. Alice McPherson and Gonin Medal display (Photo © Andy Manis)

At a dedication ceremony held on May 22nd, 2018, Dr. McPherson was joined by Dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health Robert Golden and McPherson ERI Director David Gamm, as they welcomed the Medal to its new home.  Board members from both the McPherson ERI and the Retina Research Foundation in Houston, established by Dr. McPherson in 1969, attended the morning ceremony.

“The Gonin Medal,” according to Dr. Gamm, “is given to those whose contributions have shaped the field of ophthalmology.  Dr. McPherson is truly at home in the company of other great figures of the past 75 years who have been awarded this honor, and the McPherson ERI and UW Archives are thrilled and grateful to be its caretaker.”

Dean Robert Golden, Dr. Alice McPherson, and Dr. David Gamm at the Gonin Medal dedication
Dean Robert Golden, Dr. Alice McPherson, and Dr. David Gamm at the Gonin Medal dedication (Photo © Andy Manis)