NIH director Dr. Francis Collins moved the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health further ahead, bringing the concept to his top thought leaders outside the agency—the advisory committee to the director (ACD). The group gathered June 10-11—virtually again—for its first meeting of 2021.
Health professionals often overlook a key component of well-being, said Dr. Rishi Manchanda, a physician and public health leader. To provide the best care, they must also gauge their patients’ social needs by looking at their broader social and structural environment.
Dr. Kapil Bharti of NEI is developing a stem cell-based therapy to prevent and restore vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD typically occurs in individuals over age 65 and targets the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye, which forms a monolayer of cells in the back of the eye and provides a secure base for light-sensing photoreceptors to grow on. Before Bharti’s new stem cell-based therapy of transplanting a patch of RPE cells, AMD patients were treated by injecting new RPE cells in fluid suspension into the retina.
NEI has created a U.S.-Africa vision research collaboration with Nigeria’s National Eye Centre to study children’s eye health. NEI director Dr. Michael Chiang and NEC director Dr. Mahmoud Alhassan signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations.
On the Cover
Scientists teach computers to analyze brain cells. While analyzing brain cells, a computer “thinks” about which cellular structure to identify.
Photo: steven finkbeiner, gladstone institutes and ucsf