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Sight is vital to our health and well-being.

In fact, people fear vision loss more than losing hearing, memory, speech or even a limb. Vision research is helping every day — producing exciting new insights about eye disease, developing innovations to restore sight, and driving clinical breakthroughs that are helping all of us see the future more clearly.

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There’s a not-so-new genetic technology – in fact, ophthalmologists already use it to reverse an incurable type of blindness  – that may well prove the SARS-CoV-2 magic bullet the world so desperately seeks. It leverages a unique vaccine strategy, called adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector, to deliver a powerful knock-out punch to COVID-19 before it can establish a foothold in the human body.

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Mark Humayan, MD, PhD, was inspired to become an ophthalmologist after finding that there was no cure for his grandmother’s diabetic retinopathy. His research focuses on creating the world’s first artificial retinas and in 2016, he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama for his innovative work and development of the Argus II retinal implant, which can allow previously blind patients to detect light, locate objects, and determine object motion direction.

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Congressional Briefing: Artificial Intelligence in Retinal Diseases—Focus on Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy
12pm – 1:15pm ET

A Conversation: The Impact of COVID-19 Lab Closures on the Next Generation of Vision Scientists
1:30pm – 2:00 pm ET


As NIH Director Frances Collins put it, “Due to the architecture, accessibility, and the elegance of the eye, vision research has always been a few steps ahead in biomedical research.”

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