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Pyron Award recipient
Joan O’Brien, MD with ASRS President Elect Timothy G. Murray, MD, MBA.
By Nora Laberee 
Scheie Vision Annual Report 2019

In July 2019, Joan O’Brien, MD, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, received the Retina Research Foundation’s Gertrude D. Pyron Award. This award recognizes outstanding vision scientists whose research contributes to knowledge about vitreoretinal disease.

Named after renowned geologist Gertrude D. Pyron, the Pyron Award was established by the Retina Research Foundation (RRF) and Alice McPherson, MD in 1969. Dr. McPherson was the first female vitreoretinal fellow and first full-time female retina specialist in the world.  Her leadership in vision science inspired Gertrude Pyron to donate to the RRF, establishing the foundation.

The RRF sponsors lectureships at multiple vision science conferences worldwide, including a Lectureship Research Award at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) Annual Meeting, named after Gertrude Pyron in 1999. Dr. O’Brien received the 24th Annual Gertrude D. Pyron Award at the 2019 ASRS Annual Meeting, held in Chicago. 

At the meeting, Dr. O’Brien gave the Pyron Award Lecture, focusing on her work investigating retinal disease. She discussed her research on the creation of a retinoblastoma staging system and investigation of genes implicated in uveal melanoma and glaucoma. 

“I am truly honored to receive this award, and am grateful to Dr. McPherson and the rest of the society’s leadership for their pioneering work within ASRS, and their dedication to our field,” said Dr. O’Brien. 
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