Inspired by her father, a well-known researcher in pharmacology, Dr. Annette Beyer-Mears decided that she, too, wanted to pursue a career in health care. Although the two diverged in terms of field of specialty when Dr. Beyer-Mears opted to study physiology and ophthalmology, she followed in his footsteps in terms of her deep devotion to her patients and community. She retired from her field after more than five decades of professional excellence.
Dr. Beyer-Mears started her professional journey by earning a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1963, at which time she was selected to be a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Cornell University Medical School. After a brief stint as an instructor of physiology at Springside School from 1967 to 1971, she decided to return to school and further her education. Dr. Beyer-Mears proceeded to obtain a Master of Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1973 and a PhD from the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) in 1977. She cared for her graduate alma mater, and spent the rest of her career working to advance the school’s mission.
Over the years, Dr. Beyer-Mears held a number of prestigious positions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She was a teaching assistant in the Department of Physiology from 1974 to 1977, a National Institutes of Health Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology from 1978 to 1980, an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology from 1979 to 1985, and an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology from 1980 to 1985. In 1986, she was promoted to tenured associate professor in both the Departments of Physiology and Ophthalmology, where she remained until her retirement.
In addition to her tenure with the institution, Dr. Beyer-Mears also served as a visiting associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and as a consultant for Alcon Laboratories. Further, she shared her experiences by contributing articles in the field of diabetic lens and kidney therapy to professional journals. She ensured she stayed on top of developments in her industry by maintaining memberships with organizations like the American Physiological Society, the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the International Society for Eye Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Medicine, the International Diabetes Association, and the Association for Research, Vision & Ophthalmology. She has also been a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) since 1970.
As a civic-minded person, Dr. Beyer-Mears has been active in her community. She was chairman of North New Jersey admissions to Vassar College, member of the minister search committee and fundraising chairman of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, a delegate to the Episcopalian Diocesan Convention, on the long-range planning committee of Christ Church in New Jersey, and a trustee of the National Foundation for Eye Research.
As a testament to her success and longevity, Dr. Beyer-Mears received the National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award, the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Research Award, and grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Eye Institute, and Pfizer, Inc. She was also featured in numerous volumes of Who’s Who in Finance and Business, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the World.