Robert Francis “Bob” Robert Francis Miller (Bob), Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Minnesota, passed away March 1, 2021. Preceded in death by his parents, Irvine Miller and Ettie Paxman (nee Miller) and stepfather Rulon Paxman, he is survived by Rosemary, his loving wife of 52 years; his sons Derek and Drew (Stefanie); sisters Cynthia, Cathy and their families; brother-in-law Rit (Brenda), their son Eric (Tiffany); sister-in-law Stephanie and her daughter Nicki (Randall), and their sons Sam and Jack; along with countless other friends and colleagues. Born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1939, Bob grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, from an early age demonstrating the same curiosity and enthusiasm that would define his personal and professional life. As a child he trained carrier pigeons (released by his father from as far away as Idaho), started a business selling aquarium fish and (secretly) stabled his own horse, all before he was old enough to shave. After becoming the youngest Eagle Scout in Utah history, Bob worked his way up to become head chef at Finn’s, then one of Utah’s best restaurants. He developed into an expert skier of Utah’s famed deep powder mountains as well as an accomplished golfer, both passions he would continue to pursue joyfully for the rest of his life. But it was in medical school at the University of Utah that Bob discovered his lifelong passion – scientific research. He spent the next half century dedicated to science, focusing his efforts on the vertebrate eye, his work resulting in significant contributions to our understanding of the retina. After receiving his MD Bob did postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University before joining the Navy as an officer, where he continued his research in Pensacola, FL. He was hired as a professor at SUNY-Buffalo two years later, beginning an illustrious career in academic medicine. At SUNY he played a pivotal role in establishing a vibrant basic science research program in the visual neurosciences, one that continues to this day. From there Bob moved to Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where he continued to conduct groundbreaking research. In 1988 he was recruited as 3M Bert Cross Chair and Department Head of Physiology at the University of MN, later becoming a professor in the newly established Neuroscience Department. He would remain in that position until his retirement in 2018. Early on Bob developed into an avid teacher and mentor, and he remained proud that his laboratory helped launch numerous successful scientific careers. After a career spent lecturing on his research everywhere from local classrooms to international symposia, Bob’s teaching and research efforts were both recognized with high honors: in 2008 he received the Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO’s) Proctor Medal, which recognizes significant lifelong contributions to vision research. Throughout his life Bob remained a dedicated father and husband. His bond with his sons remained strong, and they continued to spend time together playing golf (alongside lifelong friend Steve Hall), snowshoeing and vacationing together. He and Rosemary traveled the world and saw friends even as Bob found intensive new pursuits later in life, becoming a prizewinning orchid grower and starting his own politically oriented blog. After caring for him through a difficult illness, progressive supranuclear palsy, his immediate family was happy to be by his side when he passed. Bob’s spirit, his intense engagement with his interests, his infectious sense of humor and much more are already missed. He will be remembered by friends, family and colleagues alike. An in-person memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Bob’s honor may be sent to the ARVO Foundation or to the Dowling Society within ARVO. Donations may also be made to the UMN Foundation.
The Webvision crew is on our way to Japan for the RD 2016 and ISER 2016 meetings in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan as we speak. We are promoting the hashtags #RD2016 and #ISER2016 for the meetings. If you want to meet to talk or arrange to have your work featured on Webvision, be sure to ping us at @webvision1 or @BWJones on Twitter before/during the meetings.
We are on our way to ARVO, 2015 in Denver, Colorado to participate in the largest gathering of vision scientists and clinicians in the world. It’s the annual meeting of researchers presenting and discussing all things vision and ophthalmology.
If you are going to be at ARVO and want to meet up, leave us a comment here or send a Tweet to @Webvision1.
The Moran Eye Center is issuing a call for proposals for two different art exhibits related to vision that we are curating: a permanent collection which will be housed in the new Mid-Valley Health Center and an exhibit that will be held at Art Access Gallery from April 17 – May 8th, 2015.
The deadline for the Mid-Valley Moran Eye Center location is Nov. 28th.
The deadline for the Art Access show is January 30th.
The Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research was created by the Directors of Retina Research Foundation and endowed by the Trustees of The Kayser Foundation to honor and perpetuate the memory of long-time friend and dedicated benefactor of RRF, Paul Kayser. Through this award both organizations are demonstrating the conviction they shared with Mr. Kayser that blindness caused by retinal disease is a global concern and must be addressed accordingly. It is thus the purpose of this award to foster greater awareness of the need for intensive study of the retina, its role in the visual process, and the retinal diseases that threaten and/or destroy eyesight by recognizing outstanding achievement and sustaining meritorious scientific investigations worldwide.
Dr. Marc was chosen as the recipient of this award for his lifetime body of work in retinal research, discovering the structure and function of the retina through novel technologies and approaches that have pushed our understanding of the retina forward.
A very Happy 90th Birthday to Gerald Westheimer, Ph.D. Professor of the Graduate School, Division of Neurobiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Clinical Professor of Optometry Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
Gerald to this day continues to contribute important papers to the literature and to celebrate his career, his friends at UC Berkeley have put together a website to help celebrate his birthday. There is a link on Berkeley’s website with images and memorabilia from Gerald’s life that is worth a visit. Be sure to leave a note to Gerald there as well.
We are on our way to ARVO, 2014 in Orlando, Florida to participate in the largest gathering of vision scientists and clinicians in the world. It’s the annual meeting of researchers presenting and discussing all things vision and ophthalmology and a large group from the Moran Eye Center will be going.
Over the next few days, you will see some of our research abstracts appear here as the presentations are completed at ARVO. We hope that it will give some insight into the work that goes on here at the Moran Eye Center and our passion for understanding vision and what goes wrong in blinding diseases.
If you are going to be at ARVO and want to meet up, or want to come to the big soirée on Monday night (open bar) celebrating Wolfgang Baehr’s Proctor Medal Award, leave us a comment here or send a Tweet to @BWJones. We might even be able to work you into the Moran social on Monday the 2nd…
Webvision is proud to announce that our colleague here at the University of Utah‘s Moran Eye Center researcher Wolfgang Baehr, Ph.D., has been named by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), as the 2014 recipient of the Proctor Medal —considered to be the highest honor in the world awarded to scientists working in vision research. The award will be presented to Dr. Baehr during the ARVO 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., scheduled for May 4 — 8. Dr. Baehr was chosen as the recipient of the Proctor Medal for a lifetime of achievements including his work in discovering mechanisms underlying retinal diseases.
P.S. Drop us a line if you’d like to celebrate with us on Monday, May 5th in Orlando, Florida.
David Hubel, one of the true giants in the field of neuroscience and visual neuroscience died on September 22nd. His work on visual cortex helped inform and guide our understanding of how the visual system functions and for that work, he and Torsten Wiesel shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1981. Most of us in the visual neurosciences have read their work or studied it in textbooks and owe a great debt of gratitude for their insight and efforts to push science forward.
There will be a memorial to recognize the life of David Hubel, in all its dimensions, open to anyone who wishes to attend. Please join us at 2 pm, November 16 in the Memorial Church at Harvard University. More details here.
Dr. Gregory Hageman, Executive Director of the Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah related in his address that AMD consists of multiple biological diseases. Dr. Hageman continued by expressing that a convergence of clinical, biological and genetic data has led to a stronger understanding of the disease and new hope for the development of diagnostics and therapeutic interventions currently underway.
We are on our way to ARVO, 2012! ARVO is an annual meeting of researchers and clinicians who’s focus is on the visual system.
As happened last year, over the next few days, you will see some of our research abstracts appear on Webvision as the presentations are completed at ARVO. We hope that it will provide an insight into some of the work that goes on here at the Moran Eye Center as well as our commitment to understand the basic science of vision and cure blinding diseases.
If you are going to be at ARVO and want to meet up, leave us a comment here or send a Tweet to @BWJones. We might even be able to work you into the Moran social on Monday the 7th…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you from all of us at Webvision. This image, a Christmas wreath created by Robert E. Marc is composed of 104 rod bipolar cell axonal fields from the world’s first complete connectome with synaptic level resolution. Each bipolar cell in this field has been annotated from ultrastructural data revealing its extent and connectivities to other cell classes. The rod bipolar cells have been rendered out in 3D and is viewed from the top, or photoreceptor side, looking down towards the ganglion cell layer.