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José-Alain Sahel, MD to Receive 2023 Corinne Kirchner Research Award

March 31, 2023

José-Alain Sahel, MD, chair of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Ophthalmology and director of the UPMC Vision Institute, will receive the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) 2023 Corinne Kirchner Research Award this April.

Established in 1921, the AFB is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that people affected by blindness and vision loss can live independent, productive lives through access to information, technology, education, and legal resources. The award honors longtime AFB staff member Corinne Kirchner, PhD, whose work influenced the field’s utilization of demographic data, outcomes analysis, and the assessment of socio-ecological trends. Recipients of the award, first presented to Dr. Kirchner herself in 2007, are recognized for the influence their scholarly achievements and publications have on advancing the understanding of and advocacy for individuals with blindness and low vision.


Dr. Sahel, a world-renowned retina and regenerative medicine expert, joined UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. He co-authored more than 700 articles and has served on the editorial board of 13 scientific and medical periodicals. The AFB noted his role in the understanding of the connection between orientation, visual coding, and brain function, which are crucial to understanding orientation and mobility for people with vision loss, as a key factor in Dr. Sahel’s selection for this year’s award.