Partnership between Pitt, French researchers to focus first on curing blindness |

Partnership between Pitt, French researchers to focus first on curing blindness

Wesley Venteicher
James Knox | For the Tribune-Review
UPMC has hired Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel, a world-renowned vision specialist, to continue his work in Pittsburgh trying to cure blindness and vision impairments.

University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine is partnering with three French institutions on medical research, starting with efforts to cure blindness and vision impairment.

Pitt said Thursday in a news release that it is partnering with the University Pierre et Marie Curie of the Sorbonne Universités in Paris; the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research; and the French National Center for Scientific Research, the largest fundamental science agency in Europe.

Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel, a top eye researcher Pitt hired from France last year to lead its eye programs, spurred the partnership, according to the release.

“The solution for curing blindness is not going to come from one person or one group, it’s going to be a large array,” Sahel said in an interview Thursday.

He said the institutions have already begun working together. The partnership will cut down on the paperwork necessary to send scientists and doctors back and forth, he said, and will make more clinical trials available in Pittsburgh.

He said he expects to launch a trial of the most advanced artificial retina yet developed. The device uses cameras and processors to gather and translate light for the brain, creating a sort of vision for people with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

In addition to research, the partnership will include exchanging academic personnel, holding academic conferences and exchanging scientific and educational materials, according to the release.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.