Dr. José-Alain Sahel:
A pioneer in vision restoration techniques and interventions for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and vascular eye disease, among others, Dr. José-Alain Sahel is the chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Eye Center, and the Eye and Ear Foundation Chair of Ophthalmology. He previously founded and led the Institute de la Vision in Paris, a research center associated with an eye hospital founded in 1260 by the king of France, Louis IX.
Under Dr. Sahel’s leadership, the University of Pittsburgh will be positioned as a global leader in research and treatment for as many as 600 million people worldwide who, by 2050, are expected to be visually impaired. About the Foundation’s grant, he said, “We have established world class vision research and clinical care in Pittsburgh, and the cortical vision program will bring together the brightest minds to develop therapies that will directly benefit the people in our communities and around the world.”
Born in Algeria and educated in France, Dr. Sahel received a medical degree with specialty certification in ophthalmology from Strasbourg University and completed a residency in neurology and neurosurgery at the Louis Pasteur University Hospital, also in Strasbourg. He was a research fellow at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a visiting scholar in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. His vision restoration research combines genetics, neuroscience, and technology, and he is a co-inventor of more than 40 patents, a number of which have resulted in start-up companies. He is widely published, sits on the editorial boards of many scientific journals, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.