The Henry L. Hillman Foundation is giving $25 million to expand the life sciences cluster in Pittsburgh, including $20 million to increase vision care R&D via The Eye & Ear Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh Departments of Opthamology and Otolaryngology.
The gift will put the Eye & Ear Foundation’s fundraising campaign to expand the UPMC and Pitt vision R&D at more than halfway. The work will be led by Dr. José‐Alain Sahel, a world-renowned eye expert who joined Pitt in 2016 and is in charge of the development of the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower that is being built in Uptown Pittsburgh adjacent to UPMC Mercy.
The funding will also increase biomedical research, collaboration and new companies at Pitt.
“This gift is an investment in the University of Pittsburgh but also in the people and potential of our region,” University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a statement. “It will drive innovations in vision care and — even more — fuel Pittsburgh’s rise as a world leader in life sciences research.”
Pitt said the gift will pay for access for underserved communities for vision care, a lab for new treatment and working on potential breakthroughs for corneal blindness.