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University of Pittsburgh ocular biomechanics expert Ian A. Sigal, PhD, received the prestigious RPB Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness to support the development of novel biomechanics-based therapeutic approaches to glaucoma. Technologies developed through this project aim to preserve vision independent of the intraocular pressure level.
Research to Prevent Blindness is a nonprofit organization that supports eye research that aims to prevent, treat, or eradicate all diseases that threaten vision. RPB Stein Innovation Awards are presented annually and provide funds to researchers who aim to understand the visual system and the diseases that compromise it through innovative, cutting-edge vision science research.
Dr. Sigal is an associate professor of ophthalmology and bioengineering and leads the Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a BS in Physics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, an MASc in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Dr. Sigal completed one postdoctoral fellowship in Orthopaedic Biomechanics at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto and another in Ocular Biomechanics at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Ore. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, and his research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Dr. Sigal joined Pitt in 2010, where he founded the Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics. The Laboratory studies the eye as a biomechanical structure and works on methods to measure and predict long-term effects of altered ocular biomechanics, such as glaucoma-related vision loss. The team is currently exploring non-invasive techniques to study ocular biomechanics, their effects on eye health, and how these change with aging and disease, and experimental and numerical methods to characterize connective tissue architecture and mechanics.