University of Nebraska Medical Center

Benefactors & Funding

Roy and Mary Pearson

Pearson Foundation

Mary and Roy Pearson came into our scientific lives as philanthropists and benefactors but became our inspiration and guiding elders. Roy had macular degeneration and was seen by our friend, Dr. Dave Chacko. Several coincidences, help from the University of Nebraska Foundation, and our op-ed column in the Omaha World-Herald on embryonic stem cells brought us together and Roy and Mary decided to support our stem cell research for AMD.

Roy was a hands-on philanthropist. When he came to know about the cost of running a lab like ours and how far his early donation would go he was worried about how much we would be able to accomplish. When the funding from Lincy Foundation was affected by a downturn in the stock market, they advised us to recalibrate to make most of the fund while adding their own.

More than anything, which cannot be measured in dollars, we learned about life from these two wonderful people of the Greatest Generation. The foundation of American uniqueness was not laid in big cities but in small towns like Holdrege and by people like Mary and Roy. Early on, they could see through the debates that stem cell research was important and might one-day lead to the treatment of blindness and rallied for it with their resources, time and passion. 

Lincy Foundation

Glebe Foundation

National Eye Institute

Nebraska Department of Human and Health Services