Entries in NEI (6)


NEI Pays Tribute to Doheny Eye Institute's Dr. Stephen J. Ryan

Image courtesy of Doheny Eye Institute
The National Eye Institute recently recognized the life and work of Stephen J. Ryan, former president of the Doheny Eye Insitute, who recently passed away after decades of work in the ophthalmic field.
NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. is quoted as saying: 
Steve was one of the giants of ophthalmology and, indeed, of medicine. He had a great impact in many dimensions, including his involvement in the early days of the formation of the NEI. Steve once told me that he would accompany Ed Maumenee in driving from Baltimore to Washington to visit congressional offices and to advocate that the nation should have a medical institute at the NIH with a focus on preserving and treating vision disorders. Steve had an eloquent voice and presentation, and I am sure that he held sway on those occasions. We owe Steve a debt of gratitude for his contribution in establishing NEI.
A wonderful tribute website has been set up in Mr. Ryan's memory. Guests may share their memories here as well.

ORSF Symposium's Emily Chew Discusses Her New Study

Image courtesy of the US National Library of MedicineImage courtesy of shape.com








ORSF is honored to have Emily Y. Chew, MD, of the National Eye Institute (NEI) participate in our June 2013 Symposium on the Aging Eye. She recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on supplements and macular degeneration. 

Some of the findings included:

To probe whether the addition of lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to the currently recommended supplement offers benefit, the AREDS team conducted a randomized study of 1608 participants comparing progression of macular degeneration among individuals taking the original supplement plus lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids or the original supplement plus placebo. They did not find any additional reductions in progression in the group receiving the add-on supplementation. They did, however, find that former smokers taking the original supplement (current smokers were excluded from groups receiving beta carotene) had an increased rate of lung cancer compared with those taking a revised version of the original supplement that substituted lutein and zeaxanthin for beta carotene.

JAMA conducted a Q & A with Dr. Chew about her study. Read it here.


$6.2 Million NEI Grant Given to Develop New AMD Treatments

Northwestern University is a recent grantee of a $6.2 million grant from the National Eye Institute to develop new treatments for exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

According to AZoNano.com,   

Exudative AMD is the leading cause of blindness among aging Americans, and the global rate of AMD is expected to double in the next decade due to an aging population. The severe vision loss from AMD is caused by the overgrowth of blood vessels between the outer membrane of the eye and the retina. New therapeutic approaches are needed to restore eye function lost to the disease.   

Read the article: Nanomedicine Part of Major Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study


MIT Neuroscientist Edward Boyden, Ph.D. Wins 2013 Brain Prize

Image courtesy of Dominick Reuter

Exciting news for MIT's Neuroscientist Edward S. Boyden, Ph.D., an NEI grantee. Dr. Boyden received the prestigious award from the Denmark-based Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation. It is given to individuals and groups who have "influential contributions to brain research."

"This year, Dr. Boyden shares the prize with five other scientists for developing the revolutionary approach known as optogenetics, which allows researchers to control neural activity with flashes of light. The approach relies on channelrhodopsins (ChRs), which are photosensitive proteins that help certain bacteria and algae move toward light. When ChR genes are delivered to neurons, they render them light-responsive, too—except the light triggers electrical currents that can cause the neurons to fire or stop firing."

Read the article: NEI Grantee Edward Boyden Honored with Prestigious Million Euro Brain Prize


NIH-funded Study Finds Seven Genetic Risk Factors in Common Eye Disorder

The National Eye Institute issued a press release about a recent study that found seven genetic risk factors in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

NEI Director Paul Sieving stated the following:

"This compelling analysis by the AMD Gene Consortium demonstrates the enormous value of effective collaboration. Combining data from multiple studies, this international effort provides insight into the molecular basis of AMD, which will help researchers search for causes of the disease and will inform future development of new diagnostic and treatment strategies."

Article:  Seven genetic risk factors found to be associated with common eye disorder


January is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Statement from NEI Director Dr. Paul A. Sieving 

National Eye Institute (NEI) Director Dr. Paul A. Sieving released a statement in conjunction with Glaucoma Awareness Month, stating the pressing need for Americans to receive dilated eye exams once every one to two years. 

Read the full statement here.