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NEI

Singing A Fun Farewell Song

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Earlier in the month, I posted a photo taken during the retirement ceremony of Paul Sieving, director of the NIH’s National Eye Institute. I’ve since discovered this video recording of the song that I played for Paul during the ceremony. It’s the popular 1970s song, “I Can See Clearly Now” with special lyrics to mark the occasion. Credit: National Eye Institute

Best Wishes to Paul Sieving

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Sieving Farewell Ceremony
Best wishes to my friend Paul Sieving (left) upon his retirement as director of NIH’s National Eye Institute (NEI), On September 5, 2019, I joined the NIH family at a special ceremony to thank Paul for his nearly 20 years of leadership and scientific achievement at NEI. Afterwards, we posed for this photograph and to talk about old times. Paul and I were colleagues at the University of Michigan 30 years ago. In the next chapter of his research career, Paul will join the faculty at the University of California, Davis, where he will establish its Center for Ocular Regenerative Therapy. All the very best, Paul! Credit: NIH

Lighting up the Eyes

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microscopic image of a network of blood vessels

Image created using a nuclear label of a flat-mount preparation of the hyaloid vessels from the eye.
Source: Richard Lang, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, OH

This image may conjure up thoughts of bioluminescent jellyfish, but it actually shows a network of developing blood vessels in the eye of a three day old mouse. A study in Nature last week determined that light regulates the pattern of mouse blood vessels as they develop. Observing the intermediate states of eye development is important because abnormal blood vessel development is a major cause of blindness in premature infants.

Funded by National Eye Institute, NIH.


Guarding Against Glaucoma: What Can We Do?

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Chart showing the theoretical increase in the number of cases of Glaucoma, 2010-2050

Source: National Eye Institute, NIH

This graph provides a frightening look at a problem that could threaten the vision of more than 6 million Americans by 2050: glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve — a bundle of 1 million-plus nerve fibers connecting the light-sensitive retina to the brain — and that can lead to vision loss and blindness.

NIH research is trying to change this picture by developing better strategies for treatment and prevention. But you can also help. How? By getting your eyes checked regularly.

With early detection and treatment, serious vision loss can often be prevented. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some folks are at higher risk:

  • African Americans over age 40
  • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

Glaucoma often has no symptoms until a lot of damage has already been done.  So the best way to prevent a bad outcome from glaucoma is by undergoing a simple eye exam that can be done by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist — at least once every 2 years for people in high-risk groups.

Source: National Eye Institute, NIH