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



Join us for our 13th Annual Vision Science Lecture with Steven Franconeri at 4pm on Sept. 16, 2021!

The McPherson ERI Fall 2021 Seminar Series Schedule is Now Available

Cycle for Sight Passed Our $50,000 Goal!

Cycle for SIght Plus 2021 PosterThe McPherson ERI’s annual fundraiser kicked off on Friday, April 23rd and ran through Sunday, May 2nd.  Participants exercised as they chose, at a time and place of their choice. You can still join us by donating to support vision research at the University of Wisconsin!  And you can see pictures from this year’s Cycle for Sight team events here!

The McPherson ERI Summer 2021 Newsletter is Now Available

Please enjoy the Summer 2021 InSights newsletter, which features Dr. Sushmita Roy’s work on modelling cellular genetic networks in the eye, as well as a look at the Institute’s involvement in the NIH’s Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) Consortium.

Expanding Our Vision 2022 Award Recipient

Congratulations to McPherson ERI member Dr. Yuhang Zhao (Dept. of Computer Science), who will be collaborating with Dr. Bilge Mutlu  (Dept. of Computer Science) and Dr. Sanbrita Mondal (Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), here at UW-Madison. Their project, Designing Augmented Reality Systems to Facilitate Safe Cooking for People with Low Vision, will utilize augmented reality (AR) glasses to enhance vision by intelligently recognizing the environment and generating tailored visual augmentations, thereby enabling people with low vision to cook independently and safely.

Vision in the Ocean

Learn what the dynamic camouflage of cuttlefish can tell us about their vision! This interesting talk was given to the McPherson Eye Research Institute by Dr. Sara Zylinski, a lecturer in Marine Biology at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, UK, in March of 2021.

The Fundus Photograph Reading Center renamed The Wisconsin Reading Center

The Fundus Photograph Reading Center, which was initially established by Dr. Matthew Davis in 1970 to independently analyze–or “read”–photographs from participants in the first clinical trials of diabetic retinopathy, has a new name–the Wisconsin Reading Center! The Wisconsin Reading Center analyzes retinal images in an effort to provide an unbiased and comprehensive source of data for clinical trials of diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion, uveitis, inherited retinal diseases, and drug safety trials, providing top quality retinal imaging data to researchers worldwide.

Learn about Vision and the Eye: In the Dark and In the Light

The McPherson ERI Outreach Committee is pleased to provide this lesson on vision and the eye to the public. The eyes of nocturnal and diurnal vertebrates are compared for differences in their structures. Designed for a middle school audience, it is interesting for all! Both diagrams and photographic images of eyes, from animals active at night and during the day, show variations in the size of the cornea, shape and position of the lens, and quantities of photoreceptors. Viewers are invited to use these differences to identify the environmental adaptations of eyes from various animals. A worksheet is also provided for the lesson. Enjoy!

“Ice Cube Tray” Scaffold for Retinal Patch Described in Science Advances Paper

Electron microscope image of
Electron microscope image of new “scaffolding,” courtesy of the Ma Lab

A collaboration among the labs of David Gamm, Sarah Gong, and Jack Ma will advance photoreceptor replacement therapy through the development of a second generation “ice cube tray” retinal patch intended for implantation in the retina.  The three scientists’ work, supported by grants from a wide range of sources, is described in a recently published paper in Science Advances.

Systemic Racism & Unconscious Bias in Medical Workplaces

Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD
Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD

Please read an important new “call to servant leadership” by  Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a McPherson ERI member-researcher.  Dr. Mezu-Ndubuisi’s article was recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

2021 Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grant Winners Announced

Four McPherson ERI trainee researchers received this year’s Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grants, funded through Cycle for Sight. The McPherson ERI is grateful to the Valentyn family and all other Cycle for Sight participants for enabling this boost to vision researchers at the start of their careers.

Recipients of the David G. Walsh Graduate Student Support Initiative Awards Announced

The McPherson ERI is pleased to announce the recipients of the first annual David G. Walsh Graduate Student Support Initiative awards. Two one-year grants of $12,000, financed by the David G. Walsh Research Fellowship Endowment Fund, were provided to two McPherson ERI members to support a graduate student. The recipients included Ari Rosenberg, PhD (Dept. of Neuroscience), in support of PhD candidate Lowell W. Thomson (Neuroscience Training Program) and his work on hierarchical neural circuitry supporting 3D object motion processing, and Nader Sheibani, PhD (Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), in support of PhD candidate Yong-Seok Song, MS (Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Program) and his work on CYP1b1 expression, iron homeostasis, and ocular oxidative stress. Congratulations to our recipients!

The McPherson ERI’s 2020 Annual Report (and 2021 Calendar) is now available online!

Dr. Michael Altaweel Awarded the Monroe E. Trout Chair in Vision Research

Dr. Michael Altaweel

The Monroe E. Trout Chair is the third endowed chair established by the Trouts in the McPherson Eye Research Institute, following on the Sandra Lemke Trout Chair (held by David Gamm, MD, PhD), and the Timothy William Trout Chair (held by Akihiro Ikeda, DVM, PhD).  All three endowed chairholders focus on research intended to cure or develop effective new therapies for age-related macular degeneration.

Developing a Retinal Therapy for Combat-Related Injuries

The Gamm, Gong, and Ma Labs are working with collaborators to develop a new stem cell retinal patch therapy for injured soldiers and others.

McPherson ERI Expanding Our Vision grant recipients

The new program was started in 2020 and is intended to support researchers in a broad array of vision research areas.

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

Past News Article Archive


Cycle for Sight
Spring 2022 Date TBA

13th Annual Vision Science Lecture featuring Steven Franconeri, 4pm on Sept. 16, 2021

Fall Graduate Student Vision Research Symposium, Noon on Nov. 4, 2021

Fall 2021 Seminar Schedule

Vision Gallery
Changes periodically


Spring 2021

McPherson ERI Newsletter Spring 2021

Fall 2020

McPherson ERI Newsletter Fall 2020

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