Category: Sight + Sound Blog

Falling Walls Announces Science Breakthroughs of the Year: José-Alain Sahel, MD

Falling Walls

Berlin, 15 September 2021. Today the first Science Breakthroughs of the Year Awards are announced by the Falling Walls Foundation in Berlin. The Science Breakthroughs are awarded in 10 categories, the first seven recipients ranging from Life Sciences and Physical Sciences to Art and Science and Science and Innovation Management. The first laureates of the prestigious “Science Breakthrough of the Year” award are: José-Alain Sahel, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine I Life Sciences Breaking the Wall to Restoring Vision for Retinal Degeneration Elham Fadaly and Erik Bakkers, Eindhoven University of Technology I Physical Sciences Breaking the Wall to

Eye Drops and the Future of Drug Delivery in the Eye

SoliDrop Thumbnail

Have you ever had an eye infection? A case of dry eye? Horrible allergies? If you are like most people, at some point in your life, you have had to use those pesky eye drops. Eye drops can be irritating, difficult to use, and at times it seems as if more of the solution drips down your face than makes it in your eye. They are an imperfect solution to a myriad of vision problems. However, clinicians and scientists at the University of Pittsburgh are working to improve eye drop technology and revolutionize the way we deliver medicine to the

Hearing Loss in Infants

Parents and Their Baby

Learning that your baby or child has hearing loss is a frightening scenario for any parent to imagine. In the United States, hearing loss is present in every 3 per 1,000 births. Hearing loss in children, while not common, is a condition that can result from many causes. Approximately half of hearing loss in babies and children is genetic, where one or both parents can also suffer from hearing loss or carry the genetic material that would allow their child to have their hearing affected. Other children experience hearing loss as a result of other syndromic conditions (such as Down

Immunology and Viral Eye Diseases

Various viruses from the Herpesviridae family seen using an electron micrograph.

When thinking of eye diseases, most people will immediately think of things such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. However, many other viral diseases of the eye affect millions of patients around the world. Clinicians and scientists in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are working together to not only treat these diseases but use basic science research to lay the groundwork for future therapies. Diseases of the ocular surface (cornea and conjunctiva) can severely affect eyesight and quality of life and include: Allergies Chemical Burns Microbial Infections Dry Eye Disease The Herpesviridae

Head and Neck Reconstruction: Past, Present and Future

Mark W. Kubik, MD

Head and neck reconstruction is the last thing that many people think about when they are told that they have cancer of that region, or have suffered a devastating trauma, such as a gunshot.  But the long-term ramifications of not having this area reconstructed are many including functional issues, such as swallowing and airway problems, and quality of life issues, including reduced socialization and psychological problems. Mark Kubik, MD, Assistant Professor of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is on the forefront of new techniques to offer patients opportunities to regain a part of

Cataracts – Causes and Treatments

Cataracts: Causes and Treatments

A widespread disorder in the eye is the development of cataracts. For many people, getting cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. According to the National Institute of Health, in the United States alone, more than 24.4 million people over the age of 40 have been affected by cataracts. This number is expected to jump to 50 million by the year 2050. Facts About Cataracts A cataract is when your eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, as proteins in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy, or less colorful. Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive

Sight + Sound Bites | Head and Neck Reconstruction: Past, Present, and Future

Sight + Sound Bites Logo

Please join us for this lunch and learn webinar, where we will be joined by Mark W. Kubik, MD, who will give a presentation about advancements in reconstruction of the oral cavity taking place within the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Kubik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Department of Plastic Surgery. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh before pursuing a fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. Following fellowship, he joined the faculty at

EEF in the Global News This Week (BBC, TIME Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and More)

José-Alain Sahel, MD

In a breakthrough study published May 24th in Nature Medicine, Dr. José-Alain Sahel, our Chairman of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh, reports a relatively simple yet remarkably effective way to restore partial vision to RP patients—one that, with further study, may soon have wide application. Below is a collection of the many news article this research has garnered. National Newspapers and Magazines (General News, U.S. and U.K.-Based) The New York Times: Scientists Partially Restored a Blind Man’s Sight With New Gene Therapy TIME magazine: A Blind Patient Regained Partial Sight in a Breakthrough Study, Offering Hope to Millions The Wall Street

Breakthrough Study on Restoring Vision to Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients

Nature Medicine

The darkness descends slowly for people with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease that affects 2 million people worldwide. The condition is typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. Still, it can take until middle age before a person’s vision has deteriorated severely enough that they are fully or effectively blind. When the lights finally do go out, however, they stay out. Or that is the way things used to be. In a breakthrough study published May 24th in Nature Medicine, Dr. José-Alain Sahel, our Chairman of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh, reports a relatively simple yet remarkably effective

The New York Times | Scientists Partially Restored a Blind Man’s Sight With New Gene Therapy

The New York Times

By Carl Zimmer May 24, 2021 A team of scientists announced Monday that they had partially restored the sight of a blind man by building light-catching proteins in one of his eyes. Their report, which appeared in the journal Nature Medicine, is the first published study to describe the successful use of this treatment. “Seeing for the first time that it did work — even if only in one patient and in one eye — is exciting,” said Ehud Isacoff, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study. The procedure is a far