NEI targets research goals on photoreceptors, ganglion cells
WASHINGTON — The National Eye Institute has specified one of its “audacious” research goals is to focus on photoreceptor loss and ganglion cell injury, according to NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD.
This latest initiative further hones the NEI’s goal to “regenerate neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system,” one of the audacious goals Sieving launched last year.
Other high-priority research areas are molecular therapy for eye diseases and intersection of aging and biological mechanisms of eye diseases.
Paul A. Sieving
“Ultimately we are looking to prevent disease or delay disease, which is what all of us do when we see a patient,” Sieving said at the American Glaucoma Society meeting. “The patient wants to be cured and treated, and certainly wants to maintain vision for a longer time.”
Sieving set the time frame for accomplishing the goals at 10 to 15 years.
“I believe it can be accomplished, and what it means is that we’re going to have to design research structures a little differently than we have in the past. I do want to assure you, however, that the vast majority of the monies will continue to be awarded to … all of the mechanisms that have been [traditionally] used, but we will take a substantial pot of money and put it into this initiative,” he said.
Disclosure: Sieving has no relevant financial disclosures.