SAC Review of OPH

five star shaped cookies on a tray

The Eye & Ear Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee recently had its annual meeting in which they extolled the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh.

The committee was created when EEF was first established. The Board of Directors and the Dean of the School of Medicine asked for a review process to ensure that the funds allocated by EEF are applied to research to the greatest benefit for mankind. Each year, there is a SAC review, which alternates between the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.

In May, the Department of Ophthalmology had its review, with four reviewers hearing 20-minute presentations from almost all the researchers in the Department over the course of two days. At the end of the second day, the reviewers prepared a report that was presented to Anantha Shekhar, Dean of the School of Medicine and SVC of Health Sciences as well as the EEF Board of Directors. This year, reviewers were from the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Wayne State University.

One reviewer said, “[The Department has] a holistic approach to research, where groups are applying techniques in many different ways.”

Another reviewer noted, “There are two, equally meaningful pathways that the Department is exploring: 1) research for the future (cortical vision, computer brain interface, whole eye transplant, etc. and 2) those working on today’s problems and what is happening clinically with patients and disease.”

A third encapsulated, “The breadth of what [the Department] is researching is greater than any other eye institute and is the most up and coming program in the world.”