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José-Alain Sahel, MD, Receives Macula Society Michaelson Award

February 8, 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, received the Macula Society Michaelson Award, delivered the Michaelson lecture on gene-independent strategies for retinal degenerations, and organized a related symposium at the society’s 47th Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., on Feb. 7.

Founded in 1977, the Macula Society presents and disseminates the most current, advanced scientific information and research in retinal vascular and macular diseases. Membership is by application for those who have made extensive contributions to the retinal literature and includes leading retina experts from around the world.


The Michaelson Award honors the late Professor I.C. Michaelson, MD, a pioneer in the pathophysiology of the retinal vasculature, whose work led to the identification of a central mechanism of angiogenesis, now applied to millions of patients affected with blinding retinal diseases. The award is presented every three years to an outstanding scientist.


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 restoration, novel methods to assess visual impairment, and the impact of these therapies on daily life for patients.