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Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship

The Optical Society / SPIE


Term: 2009-2010
Matthew McMahon
Status: Accepted

Prior to his selection as the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, Matt McMahon was the senior principal scientist at Second Sight© Medical Products, a company devoted to the development of a retinal prosthesis to restore sight to people blinded by retinal degenerations. While at Second Sight, Matt directed interdisciplinary research and development teams and worked with engineering, regulatory, and clinical affairs to improve the product and to facilitate the regulatory approval process necessary to commercialize the device.

Prior to working at Second Sight, Matt conducted primate retinal physiology research as a senior fellow in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington. He received a BS with distinction in optics from the University of Rochester and an MA and PhD in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego, where he researched color vision, the limits of spatial resolution, and advanced retinal imaging techniques.

His education and experience are distributed across engineering, vision science, and psychology. He has given invited lectures both in the US and abroad, has published many peer-reviewed papers, is an inventor on numerous US and European patents, and has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He has also volunteered in Nepal to provide intensive training for doctors and optometry students in basic and clinical vision science through the Nepalese Ministry of Health and the Seva Foundation. His experience and interests span innovation and competitiveness, health policy, and the regulatory and intellectual property policies that translate knowledge into innovations for society.