Pitt received a $6 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to support the development of a cortical vision research program in the Pitt School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology. The program will aim to understand how the eye and the brain work together to help us see the world and use that knowledge to develop new ways to restore vision using various technologies such as brain computer interfaces and novel genetic technologies.
“The RK Mellon Foundation’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in a world-renowned talent — Dr. José-Alain Sahel — and his team’s groundbreaking efforts to preserve and restore the gift of sight for millions of people across the world,” says Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am deeply grateful for the Foundation’s support and excited to watch this next chapter in vision research and care unfold right here in Pittsburgh.”
“As the world’s population continues to grow and age, the number of individuals with visual impairments is expected to triple by the year 2050, and Pittsburgh, with its aging population, will be highly affected by this epidemic of vision loss,” said Sahel, director of the UPMC Eye Center, and Pitt chair of ophthalmology. “We have established world class vision research and clinical care in Pittsburgh, and the cortical vision program will bring together the brightest minds to develop therapies that will directly benefit the people in our communities and around the world.”