Category: Sight + Sound Blog

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

Sight + Sound Bites Webinar: Cochlear Implants: Candidacy and New Developments

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Please join us for this lunch and learn webinar presented by Jonas Johnson, MD, Barry Hirsch, MD, and Elena LaQuatra on advancements in cochlear implant technology within the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as patient perspective. Dr. Hirsch is Professor of Otolaryngology, Director, Division of Otology/Neurotology, and Program Director, Neurotology Fellowship Program. A board certified neurotologist, Dr. Hirsch is a surgeon specializing in treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the temporal bone and skull base. These areas include the ear canal and middle ear, posterior and middle fossae and cranial nerves.

Taking Control of Balance and Dizziness

Susan L. Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA

Have you ever stood up too fast, felt dizzy, and nearly lost your balance? Well, it turns out those issues are related and provides a glimpse of the debilitating conditions that millions of patients around the world live with every day. Researchers and clinicians in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are taking years of research to the next level as they work to enhance and improve diagnosis and treatment of balance and dizziness disorders. “We need to learn to treat everybody differently because every patient comes with their own set

Good Eyes, Good Genes?

Genetic Counseling

What is Genetic Counseling? An emerging field of medical technology is Genetic Counseling. According to the World Health Organization, genetic counseling is the process through which trained professionals share knowledge about the genetic aspects of illnesses with an increased risk of either having a heritable disorder or passing it on to their unborn offspring. A genetic counselor provides information on the inheritance of diseases and their recurrence risks; addresses the concerns of patients, their families, and their health care providers; and supports patients and their families dealing with these illnesses (World Health Organization). With significant advancements in understanding the complexities


Eric Wang, MD, FACS

“Spring, when your nose does more running than you do.” —Anonymous The beginning of Spring is when people often suffer from allergies and rhinosinusitis issues due to the increase of pollen in the air from the blooming of flowers and trees.  While many people will get quick relief from common medications such as antihistamines and nasal steroids, a segment of the population feels like every day of the year is a mid-April day due to chronic sinusitis. For these individuals, advances in sinus and allergy treatments can dramatically change their daily quality of life. What is Chronic Sinusitis? Chronic sinusitis

Sight + Sound Bites Webinar: Innovative Treatments for Nasal Obstruction and Chronic Rhinosinusitis

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Join us on Wednesday, March 24th at Noon for our upcoming webinar, Sight + Sound Bites: Innovative Treatments for Nasal Obstruction and Chronic Rhinosinusitis featuring Eric Wang, MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A where our panelists will answer questions from our audience. To register for this webinar, visit Visit to support our research and educational efforts. Please register for the mailing list to stay informed on our research and patient care advances. Should you have any questions please email Craig Smith at

Choroid: Unsung Workhorse of the Eye

Jay Chhablani, MD

An often understated yet critically important part of the eye is the choroid. Understanding what the choroid is and its role in vision can one day help researchers and clinicians better diagnose and treat commonly known diseases of the eye, such as macular degeneration. What is the Choroid? The choroid is the most vascular layer of the eye. It supplies nutritional support to photoreceptors (the most critical cells in the retina) and plays a vital role in vision. Its function is very well established in vision-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, central serous chorioretinopathy, and pachychoroid diseases. However, understanding

NEXTpittsburgh | $25 million Hillman grant for Pitt to make the region a vision care hub


March 2, 2021 By Michael Machosky The Bay Area is known worldwide for its tech startups. Philadelphia is known for its pharmaceutical cluster. Pittsburgh may someday be known for … eyes? The city’s well-established life sciences cluster just got a big boost from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, to the tune of $25 million. Of that, $20 million will go toward vision care research and development through the Eye & Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh, which supports Pitt’s Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. Those outside of the medical community may not think of eyes as one of Pittsburgh’s specialties, but the region is