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Sieving Named NEI Director

Dr. Paul A. Sieving has been named the second director of the National Eye Institute. He is currently the Paul R. Lichter professor of ophthalmic genetics and director, Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration, at the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor. He will join NEI in late spring.

Dr. Paul A. Sieving

"I am delighted that Dr. Sieving will be assuming the directorship of the NEI," said NIH acting director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, who made the appointment. "As the nation's population ages, blinding eye diseases will reach epidemic proportions. Dr. Sieving, as an internationally recognized researcher and clinician, will provide dynamic leadership in our efforts to prevent blindness and visual loss."

Sieving (pronounced SEE-ving) will oversee a budget of $510.6 million, a staff of 300 scientists and administrators on campus and approximately 1,600 research grants and training awards made to scientists at more than 250 institutions across the country and around the world.

"I am honored to be joining the NEI at this important moment when scientific opportunities have never been greater," said Sieving. "I look forward to working with the NEI staff, the vision research community, and the public to improve eye health for all and quality of life for those with vision impairments."

Sieving's research at Michigan investigates the genetic basis for retinal and macular degenerations and the basic biology of retinal cells that degenerate and lead to vision loss. He also conducts clinical investigations with individuals who have these conditions and their families, and studies treatments that might slow the degeneration.

An honors graduate of Valparaiso University in history and physics, he completed an M.S. in physics at Yale University and a year at Yale Law School. He went on to receive an M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Illinois Graduate School. He did his postdoctoral fellowship in retinal physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, with the late Dr. Roy H. Steinberg, and his medical fellowship in inherited retinal degenerations at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, with Dr. Eliot L. Berson.

Sieving has received many awards and honors, including the Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Alcon Award from the Alcon Research Institute, and he is listed as one of the "Best Doctors in America." He has served on several NIH study sections to review grant applications, and on numerous editorial and advisory boards. He has received grant support from NIH and various foundations since 1982 to further his research.

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