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José-Alain Sahel, MD, to Receive EURORDIS Scientific Award 2024

January 18, 2024

José-Alain Sahel, MD, distinguished professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the UPMC Vision Institute, will receive the EURORDIS – Rare Disease Europe Scientific Award 2024 at the annual EURORDIS Black Pearl Awards event on Feb. 20, 2024, a hybrid ceremony taking place both online and in Brussels, Belgium.

EURORDIS – Rare Disease Europe is a nonprofit alliance of more than 1,000 rare disease patient organizations from 74 countries. EURORDIS aims to improve the lives of the more than 300 million people living with rare diseases throughout the world through advocacy, outreach, and education.

The EURORDIS board of directors, together with Orphanet, an online resource for rare disease and orphan drug information, selects the recipient based on their contributions to rare disease research following a public nomination process. The selection committee chose Dr. Sahel for his demonstrated excellence in research on retinal diseases, development of new treatments, and collaboration with colleagues throughout the international medical, scientific, and biotechnology communities to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients with rare eye diseases.

As one of the world’s top experts in retinal diseases – including inherited retinal conditions like retinitis pigmentosa – Dr. Sahel has spent his career in pursuit of new and better therapies to preserve and restore vision, from corrective gene therapy to neuroprotection, optogenetics, stem cells, prosthetic vision, and novel methods to assess visual impairment and the impact of these therapies on daily life for patients.