Health & Medicine

UC Davis Health recruits leader of influential National Eye Institute to join faculty

UC Davis Health

UC Davis Health has recruited the internationally recognized director of the National Eye Institute, Dr. Paul A. Sieving, to join the faculty for its Sacramento-based eye center.

Sieving has led the National Eye Institute, one of 27 institutes and centers within the U.S. National Institutes of Health, since 2001, and in that capacity, he managed an $800 million budget that supported 550 physicians, researchers and staff.

In 2014, Sieving started a 15-year research effort aimed at reversing nerve damage to the eyes from diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. It’s known as the NEI Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI) for Regenerative Medicine.

“Dr. Sieving brings tremendous strengths in basic research and clinical care that have led to new treatments for patients,” said Lars Berglund, interim dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. “His expertise complements the exceptional work of UC Davis vision scientists, eye center faculty and researchers across UC Davis who study the genetic components of eye diseases and vision loss and work to develop new treatments.”

At Sacramento-based UC Davis Eye Center, Sieving will be a professor of ophthalmology, and he is expected to assume an endowed chair in retinal research, working to establish a new Center for Ocular Regenerative Therapy to advance gene-based treatments.

“UC Davis’ unique combination of resources — from its top-ranked schools of medicine and veterinary medicine, stem cell program and primate center to its world-class EyePod imaging laboratory and robust vision science program — provides fertile ground for Dr. Sieving’s research and the innovations that improve health,” said Mark Mannis, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science. “His focus on retinal diseases also aligns with our eye center’s vision for the future.”

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