Gertrude D. Pyron Award

The Retina Research Foundation’s Gertrude D. Pyron Award

The Pyron Award was created by the Retina Research Foundation of Houston, Texas, to recognize outstanding vision scientists whose work contributes to knowledge about vitreoretinal disease.

Gertrude D. Pyron

The award, which offers a cash prize and research grant, is presented each year at the ASRS Annual Meeting. The recipient is chosen by the ASRS Awards Committee.

The Pyron Award has been endowed by an estate gift from Gertrude D. Pyron of San Antonio, Texas. She was an imminent geologist during her lifetime, and made her bequest to Retina Research Foundation (RRF) because of her admiration for Dr. Alice McPherson’s leadership in vision science.

Retina Research Foundation was founded in 1969 by Dr. Alice McPherson, a member of the American Society of Retina Specialists, to establish and fund programs for the eradication of vitreoretinal disease. A public charity based in Houston, it has grown with support from a few community leaders to a major foundation, with broad support, funding a grant program, a major awards program, a career develop­ment program, and annual support for several research chairs.

The awards program sponsors lectureships not only at the ASRS Annual Meeting, but also the Award of Merit Lecture of The Retina Society, the Mills & Margaret Cox Award of The Macula Society, the Kayser Award of the Schepens International Society, and the Gonin Lecture of Club Jules Gonin.

Research chairs are endowed at the Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Travel awards and scholars programs are supported at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Pan­American Association of Ophthalmology.

The ASRS is proud to be the recipient of the Pyron Award as part of this major awards program. The awards program for the RRF was established in 1978 to provided honoraria and research grants to internationally known retina scientists in recognition of their lifetime achievements.

The Retina Research Foundation has sponsored a Lectureship Research Award at the American Society of Retina Specialists Annual Meeting since 1995. From 1995 through 1998, the lectureship was named in honor of W.H. Helmerich, III. Commencing in 1999, the award series changed to honor Gertrude Pyron.

The 25th Annual Gertrude D. Pyron Award  

Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD, is the 2020 recipient of The Retina Research Foundation’s Gertrude D. Pyron Award.

Dr. Humayun is the Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences, professor of ophthalmology, biomedical engineering, and integrative anatomical sciences, director of the University of Southern California (USC) Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, and co-director of the USC Roski Eye Institute.

The Pyron Award, which is presented each year at the ASRS Annual Meeting, was created by the Retina Research Foundation of Houston, Texas, to recognize outstanding vision scientists like Dr. Humayun, whose work contributes to knowledge about vitreoretinal disease. The award's $50,000 cash prize includes a $5,000 personal honorarium and a $45,000 research grant.

Dr. Humayun is an internationally recognized pioneer in vision restoration. He assembled a team of multidisciplinary experts to develop the first FDA-approved artificial retina, Argus II, for sight restoration. For his extraordinary contributions, Dr. Humayun was awarded the United States’ highest technological achievement, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, by President Barack Obama in 2016.

Dr. Humayun is a member of the US National Academies of Medicine, Engineering, and Inventors. He is a past president of ASRS (2016-2018) and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which honored him with the 2018 IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award and the 2020 IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology. He has more than 125 issued patents, over 250 peer-reviewed publications, and a Google Scholar h-index of 90.

The Retina Research Foundation Honorees

1995    George F. Hilton, MD
1996    Robert C. Watzke, MD
1997    Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD
1998    Stanley Chang, MD
1999    Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD
2000    Gholam A. Peyman, MD
2001    Yasuo Tano, MD
2002    Michael T. Trese, MD
2003    Lloyd M. Aiello, MD
2004    Morton F. Goldberg, MD
2005    Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD
2006    Brooks W. McCuen, II, MD
2007    Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA
2008    Susan B. Bressler, MD & Neil M. Bressler, MD
2009    C.P. Wilkinson, MD
2010    Julia A. Haller, MD
2011    Jean Bennett, MD, PhD & Albert M. Maguire, MD
2012    Daniel F. Martin, MD
2013    George A. Williams, MD
2014    Andrew P. Schachat, MD
2015    Gary W. Abrams, MD
2016    Donald J. D'Amico, MD
2017    Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD
2018    Joan W. Miller, MD
2019    Joan M. O'Brien, MD
2020    Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD

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