José-Alain Sahel, MD
José-Alain Sahel, MD

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Vision is one of our most precious physiological functions and mediates a major part of our relationship to the world and others. As the world’s population is growing and aging, the number of people living with visual impairments will triple, from 200 to 600 million, by 2050.

Here, in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Eye Center, preserving and restoring sight for our patients is our mission. Every day, our entire team is working towards advancing research to discover new therapies with the ultimate goal of restoring vision. In doing so, we conduct translational research in vision restoration and rehabilitation, leading to first-in-man clinical trials and the development of novel therapies for patients.

To best serve a patient as a whole being, and not just the condition which limits their sight, we need to radically reconceptualize the way we deliver care. We want to work hand in hand with individual patients  to understand what their life with vision loss is like and try to formulate a multifaceted plan to reduce their struggles. We work to identify a treatment plan that is customized to be the most effective. By perfecting this model of care, we will have the ability to apply what we learn to the care of people living with vision loss both locally and globally. This is a major, very ambitious, but much needed effort to develop a genuine patient-centric care. These efforts are led by Dr. José-Alain Sahel, Distinguished Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology, a clinician-scientist conducting research on vision restoration in retinal degenerative diseases. You can read more about Dr. Sahel in his brief biography.

To learn more about UPMC's Vision and Rehabilitation at Mercy, set to open in 2022, read our cover story in the Pittsburgh Business Times and our article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and take a virtual tour of the building.