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McPherson awarded ophthalmology's prestigious Gonin Medal

Dr. Alice McPherson

Dr. Alice McPherson, a professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine and founder of the Retina Research Foundation, has been selected for the oldest and most prestigious medal in ophthalmology, the Gonin Medal.  

The Gonin Medal and diploma is awarded every four years to an ophthalmologist who is notable for his or her outstanding work or research.

The medal was instituted by the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and the Swiss Ophthalmological Society. The recipient is selected by the International Council of Ophthalmology Board of Trustees. It will be presented by Dr. Bruce Spivey, president of the ICO, at the World Ophthalmology Congress® of the ICO in Tokyo, Japan on April 2, 2014.

Dedicated to treatment of retina

McPherson is an accomplished teacher, scholar, leader and pioneer dedicated to the study and treatment of diseases of the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye.

In 1969, McPherson founded the Retina Research Foundation, one of the nation’s leading eye research organizations, dedicated to promoting the understanding, prevention and treatment of retinal diseases.

Pioneer of new treatments

A Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons, McPherson has made significant contributions to advance new treatment of retinal disease.

McPherson pioneered scleral buckling, cryotherapy and xenon arc and laser photocoagulation in the treatment of retinal detachment (when the retina separates from the back of the eye). She was an early and vigorous advocate of photocoagulation in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, when the disease causes damages to blood vessels in the retina. 

She has been honored by numerous institutions and organizations for these contributions including her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, Harvard Medical School, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology. 

McPherson received her undergraduate and medical degrees and took her ophthalmology residency at the University of Wisconsin. She completed a retina fellowship with Dr. Charles Schepens at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

The Gonin Medal was established in 1937 in memory of Dr. Jules Gonin from Switzerland, considered the father of retina surgery.

McPherson received the Gonin Medal diploma and delivered a special lecture entitled “The Retina Specialty After Gonin: Personal Recollections and Contributions” on Feb. 13 at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.