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GRF Honors Optics Pioneer, Charles Munnerlyn, PhD, and Judith Munnerlyn at Annual Gala

Charles and Judy Munnerlyn with Thomas Brunner

Judy and Charles Munnerlyn were honored to recognize their extraordinary contributions to improving vision for people around the world.

Recently at the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala, Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) honored philanthropists and longtime South Bay residents, Judy and Charles Munnerlyn with their highest honor, The Catalyst Award. The Gala was held on February 8, 2024, at the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco with more than 320 attendees.

Judy and Charles Munnerlyn, PhD, were honored to recognize their extraordinary contributions to improving vision for people around the world. Dr. Munnerlyn is recognized internationally as a pioneering research engineer in optics and lasers in ophthalmology.

Dr. Munnerlyn’s long and inspiring career is distinguished by the 41 patents he holds in the field of optical engineering and for his 1984 creation of the Munnerlyn Formula, which dictates the amount of corneal tissue to be removed by an excimer laser for retractive surgery. He also designed the first excimer laser for laser vision correction eye surgery in 1985 and founded VISX Incorporated, which was once the world’s largest manufacturer of laser vision correction systems. Dr. Munnerlyn is also responsible for numerous inventions that have transformed the way clinicians treat patients, resulting in an improved quality of life for millions.

GRF President and CEO, Thomas M. Brunner, presented the esteemed award to the Munnerlyns. “I have known Charles and Judy Munnerlyn for more than 50 years and I am so grateful that our work in ophthalmology brought us together. Their outstanding accomplishments in eye care are matched by their incredible philanthropic endeavors including leadership gifts to GRF, higher education, and the field of ophthalmology including the establishment of the Munnerlyn Eye Institute at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and the Munnerlyn Laser Surgery Education Center at the American Academy of Ophthalmology.” Brunner added, “It was so wonderful to have so many members of the Munnerlyn family join us as we honored Charles and Judy as brilliant entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and friends.”

The evening ended with a special after-party on the 32nd floor featuring delicious treats from Munnerlyn’s Ice Creamery in Pine Grove, CA, owned and operated by son Stewart and his wife, Stacey Munnerlyn.

The Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala included a reception, a silent art auction featuring artists with vision impairment, and a dinner to celebrate the donors, volunteers, and scientists who do so much to advance Glaucoma Research Foundation’s mission to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. More than $360,000 was raised to support GRF’s research and education programs.

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Pictured above: Los Gatos residents, Dr. Charles Munnerlyn and wife Judith, accept the 2024 Catalyst Award from GRF President and CEO, Thomas M. Brunner at the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala on February 8, 2024.

Posted on May 8, 2024