NAEVR/AEVR Announces the Death of NAEVR/AEVR Founder and Former President Stephen Ryan, M.D.

April 30, 2013
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
[email protected]


(Washington, D.C.) Today, NAEVR announced receipt of a statement from the family of Stephen Ryan, M.D. that he passed away on April 29 after having “fought valiantly against a disease that progressed far too rapidly.”

Dr. Ryan, who served as the President of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California, was the Founder of the NAEVR and AEVR Alliances, which serve as the “Friends of the National Eye Institute (NEI).” He worked closely with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) to garner the vision community’s support to create organizations that advocated for and educated about the value of federally funded vision research. He served as the NAEVR and AEVR Boards President from the Alliances’ founding in 1993 to early February 2013. On March 5, 2013, the NAEVR and AEVR Boards elected Peter J. McDonnell, M.D. (Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) as President.

Immediately after his election, Dr. McDonnell offered the following resolution commending Dr. Ryan, which was unanimously approved by the Boards:

The Alliances’ Boards commend Stephen Ryan, M.D., who has served as the AEVR and NAEVR Founder and served as its President until 2013, the Alliances’ 20th anniversary year. We recognize his tireless commitment to NAEVR’s and AEVR’s mission of advocacy and education on behalf of the value of vision research and its benefits for patients, as well as his strong leadership in building an Alliance that is respected for its efforts by Congress, the Administration, coalition partners, and the vision community.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky has issued the following statement:

“The vision community has lost a great leader, clinician, researcher, and mentor, who felt as comfortable with patients and students as he did with federal legislators and policymakers. Dr. Ryan had an unparalleled dedication to this community, where he led so many organizations over the years with integrity and a sense of determination to improve the lives of patients. We have all lost a good friend and colleague.”

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to sustained education about the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research, focused through its Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative. Visit the Alliances’ Web site at