Category: Research Updates & News

Using Our Own Bacteria to Treat Eye Disorders

Eye Disorders

While some people associate the word ‘bacteria’ with disease or infection, Anthony St. Leger, PhD is seeing it in a different light: as a means to better eye treatment. Dr. St. Leger and his team have been investigating how the eye microbiome, a collection of microbes such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses, work together with the immune system to keep your eye healthy. “What we found is that bacteria live on your eye. And those bacteria actually stimulate an immune response that protects the eye from infection,” stated Dr. St. Leger. “We also know that bacteria stay on the eye

How Tissue Banks May Help Prevent Allergic Reactions

Stella Lee, MD

Sino-Nasal disorders remain a key area of the research taking place in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Under the direction of Stella Lee, MD, researchers and clinicians continue to study the complex, yet very common sino-nasal disorders that affect so many of us on a daily basis. “One of the most interesting and inspiring aspects of my work is the ability to develop innovative ways to tackle difficult problems,” says Dr. Lee, who treats a variety of illnesses ranging from allergies to chronic rhinosinusitis. Rhinosinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal

Engineers, Researchers, and Physicians Team Up to Advance Surgery in Pittsburgh

Dr. Duvvuri in Pittsburgh CREATES

Founded three years ago by the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh CREATES (Collaborative Research, Education, And Technology Enhancement in Surgery) is a state of- the-art Surgical Education and Surgical Innovation center housed on the first floor of Eye and Ear Institute.  CREATES was founded with guiding principle that for patients to have better surgical outcomes, surgery needed to be smarter not only in how it was performed but also in the instruments used during the procedure. The academic and research-oriented focus of the city, in combination with a burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, has given rise to multiple

Turning Back the Clock on Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the United States, affecting nearly two million people, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. With the aging population in America, this number is estimated to double in the coming two decades. AMD is a disease in the eye that affects the retina, which is a layer of nerve cells in the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain so a person can see. AMD occurs when a specific part of the retina called the macular is damaged, causing a person

Hearing Loss and Your Greater Health

Hearing Loss and Your Greater Health

Consistently ranked among the best programs in the country, the Department of Audiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine continues to work towards solving the puzzle of hearing loss. The number of people affected by hearing loss is staggering, with nearly 50 million people here in the United States and roughly 466 million worldwide experiencing some degree of hearing loss. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization expects this number to climb to nearly 900 million by the year 2050 due to an aging population. While hearing loss is routinely thought of as a problem affecting the elderly, there are

The Future of Glaucoma Treatment

National Institutes of Health Glaucoma Simulation

Researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine continue to make strides in the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve, the vital nerve that transfers visual information from the retina to the vision centers in the brain. This loss of optic nerve tissue, also known as “cupping,” is most commonly caused by an increased eye pressure when the clear fluid in the eye, called the aqueous humor, does not drain properly. A leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60, glaucoma affects more than 3

Developing a Cure for Tinnitus

Developing A Cure for Tinnitus - Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD

The Eye & Ear Foundation collects support from donors like you to help propel research forward. Whether big or small, our donors’ gifts make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. One of our favorite stories that exemplifies the impact of continuous support in a given area of research is the story of how the Eye & Ear Foundation provided seed funding to Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD and the team at the University of Pittsburgh which includes Peter Wipf, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. This funding helped to secure larger grants from the National Institutes

Attend the 2019 Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Symposium

UPMC Survivorship Team

On August 5th and 6th, the Department of Otolaryngology will host the second annual Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Symposium. This conference is open to healthcare providers and interested community members, and will welcome Keynote speakers from around the country speaking on issues related to the treatment of head and neck cancers, and living with symptoms and side effects after treatment. Featured presentations will focus on issues such as: Strategies for Maintaining Oral Health Multiple Symptom Management Rehabilitative Strategies Body Image after Cancer Managing Dysphagia (Swallowing) Self-Advocacy in Cancer Care This conference is the first of its kind, bringing together

The Center for Cortical Vision

The Optic Nerve

A central component of the new Pittsburgh Vision Institute will be a dedicated Center for Cortical Vision, aimed at restoring visual perception in patients who have experienced retinal degeneration. One of the leading causes of blindness in the Western World, retinal degeneration occurs in a variety of pathological conditions, including ocular trauma, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, tumors, and optic neuropathies. An expert team of clinicians and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh will continue to build upon existing collaborative efforts with the Brain Institute of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University as well as many international scientists, including those at the Institut

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