Lynette Feeney-Burns, PhD, a long time vision researcher and ARVO member, died July 23, 2016. Dr. Feeney-Burns attended Mount Saint Joseph College in Cincinnati, Ohio, then worked at the University of California at San Francisco's Proctor Foundation with Michael J. Hogan, MD doing electron microscopy of the human eye. She received her PhD in Endocrinology from University of California San Francisco in 1968. After postdoctoral work in cell biology with Keith Porter at Harvard University, she established a vision research lab at the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland, Oregon. In 1978 she married Robert P. Burns, MD, and in 1979 they moved to the University of Missouri where he became chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and she was research professor.
Dr. Feeney-Burns made seminal contributions to our understanding of the cell biology of the eye tissues. Notably, she characterized the accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium with age. She served the vision research community in several capacities and was a role model to women in the field. She was the first female on the editorial board of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and she served on early advisory and peer review panels for the National Eye Institute in the l970s.
In 1991 the couple retired in Sonoma, California, where her husband passed away in four years later.
Colleague and friend of Dr. Feeney-Burns, Ilene Gipson PhD, FARVO, shared, "The facts of her life do not tell of the person Lynette was "” a committed and involved individual to the causes she believed in, a passion for truth in both science and life, a deep knowledge and understanding of history, a loyal friend and a lifelong commitment to doing good, tempered with a wry sense of humor."