Recruited by founding dean, Dr. Henry B. Peters, Dr. Oyster was among the first members of the UABSO faculty. He and his wife, the late Dr. Ellen Takahashi, were both instrumental in the early success of the School as well as the creation of the Vision Science Graduate Program.
Dr. Oyster was revered as an outstanding teacher, pioneering retinal researcher, and esteemed author. His textbook, “The Human Eye: Structure and Function,” is considered a landmark publication and is still being used at schools and colleges of optometry.
Dr. Franklin Amthor, Director of the UAB Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, UAB Department of Psychology, shared some details of Dr. Oyster’s research contributions:
“Professor Clyde Oyster is known for his research on retinal ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina. He contributed significantly to our understanding of the variety of retinal ganglion cells in mammals, their distribution in the retina, and their destinations in the brain. He is particularly well known for his research on directionally selective ganglion cells that are crucial for image stabilization and tracking. He also showed that these retinal neurons project to the thalamus and are also likely to be involved in important aspects of visual perception.”
Following retirement, both Dr. Oyster and his wife pursued their passion for painting and art and because of that, Dr. Oyster created a painting award in his wife's memory. With their love for the arts in mind, the family will host a memorial celebration at UAB's Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (1221 10th Avenue South) on Saturday, October 22nd from 1:00-3:00pm. Contributions in Dr. Oyster's memory can be made to the Ellen Shizuko Takahashi Endowed Award for Painting, UAB Department of Art and Art History, AEIVA-211, 1720 2nd Ave. S. Birmingham, AL, 35294-1264.