Prof. José Alain Sahel, Co-founder

José-Alain Sahel studied medicine at the Medical School of Paris University and ophthalmology at the University of Strasbourg and at Harvard University (Boston-Cambridge, USA).

He was appointed Professor of Ophthalmology at the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. Currently, José-Alain Sahel is Professor of Ophthalmology at Pierre and Marie Curie University Medical School, Paris, France and Cumberlege Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Institute of Ophthalmology-University College London, UK. He chairs the Departments of Ophthalmology at the Quinze-Vingts National Eye Hospital and at the Rothschild Ophthalmology Foundation. In 2016, he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and The Eye and Ear Foundation Endowed Chair.

The primary focus of Sahel’s fundamental and clinical research is the understanding of the mechanisms associated with retinal degeneration, together with the conception, development and evaluation of innovative treatments for retinal diseases, with a special focus on genetic rod-cone dystrophies (e.g. neuroprotection, stem cells, gene therapy, pharmacology, and artificial retina).

José-Alain Sahel scientific group (with Saddek Mohand-Said and Thierry Léveillard) was the first to hypothesize and demonstrate that rod photoreceptors produce a protein that rescues cone photoreceptors, thereby maintaining light-adapted and high-resolution vision.

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Thierry Léveillard, Co-founder

Thierry Léveillard, PhD on Cellular and Molecular Biology, is Inserm Director or Research at Vision Institute (Paris) and head of Genetics Department. After several years of research in USA, in at UCSD and the Salk Institute and UCSC, he joined Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology Institute (IGBMC), then the Inserm laboratory at Strasbourg Louis Pasteur University. Author of several scientific reference publications in the field of genetics, he is co-founder, among other, of Rod derived Cone Viability Factor, the RdCVF.

He has received numerous international awards, including the 1997 Neuronal Plasticity IPSEN Award, the 2005 Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) Trustee Award and the 2015 Prix de la fondation de l’oeil (Fondation de France). Thierry Léveillard is founder and, as scientific adviser for SparingVision, intervenes in all the phases of R and D regarding development of the viral vectors, in particular the realization of preclinical regulatory.