José-Alain Sahel

  • Chair, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Director, UPMC Eye Center
  • Eye and Ear Foundation Chair of Ophthalmology

Current Research

Dr. José-Alain Sahel is the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, director of the UPMC Eye Center, and the Eye and Ear Foundation Chair of Ophthalmology.  Dr. Sahel is known worldwide for his expertise in vision restoration techniques. He has developed several interventions— including stem cell implantation, gene therapy, innovative pharmacologic approaches, and the artificial retina—for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, vascular eye disease, and other vision impairments that currently are untreatable.  Over the past decade he has led pioneering efforts in optogenetic vision restoration, a technique in which cells in the retina are genetically modified to express light sensitive proteins. This therapeutic technique has the potential to help patients who are blind or visually impaired as a result of a genetic defect. 


Selected Recent Publications

Terray A, Fort V, Slembrouck A, Nanteau C, Sahel JA, Reichman S, Audo I, Goureau O (2017). Establishment of an Induced Pluripotent stem (iPS) Cell Line from Dermal Fibroblasts of an Asymptomatic Patient with Dominant PRPF31 Mutation. Stem Cell Res. 2017 Oct 7;25:26-29. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2017.10.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29040912.

Terray A, Slembrouck A, Nanteau C, Chondroyer C, Zeitz C, Sahel JA, Audo I, Reichman S, Goureau O (2017). Generation of an Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Line from a Patient with Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa due to a Mutation in the NR2E3 gene. Stem Cell Res. 2017 Oct;24:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 5. PubMed PMID: 29034877.

Kole C, Klipfel L, Yang Y, Ferracane V, Blond F, Reichman S, Millet-Puel G, Clérin E, Aït-Ali N, Pagan D, Camara H, Delyfer MN, Nandrot EF, Sahel JA, Goureau O, Léveillard T (2017). Otx2-Genetically Modified Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Rescue Photoreceptors after Transplantation. Mol Ther. 2017 Sep 8. pii: S1525-0016(17)30419-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.09.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28988713.

Hadj-Saïd W, Fradot V, Ivkovic I, Sahel JA, Picaud S, Froger N (2017). Taurine Promotes Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival Through GABA(B) Receptor Activation. Adv Exp Med Biol.2017;975:687-701. doi: 10.1007/978-94-024-1079-2_54. PubMed PMID: 28849492.

Chaffiol A, Caplette R, Jaillard C, Brazhnikova E, Desrosiers M, Dubus E, Duhamel L, Macé E, Marre O, Benoit P, Hantraye P, Bemelmans AP, Bamberg E, DuebelJ, Sahel JA, Picaud S, Dalkara D (2017). A New Promoter Allows Optogenetic Vision Restoration with Enhanced Sensitivity in Macaque Retina. Mol Ther. 2017 Jul 20.pii: S1525-0016(17)30326-X. doi:10.1016/j.ymthe. 2017.07.011. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28807567.

Authié CN, Berthoz A, Sahel JA, Safran AB (2017). Adaptive Gaze Strategies for Locomotion with Constricted Visual Field. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Jul 27;11:387. doi: 10.3389/fnhum. 2017.00387. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28798674; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5529417.

Berthelon X, Chenegros G, Libert N, Sahel JA, Grieve K, Benosman R (2017). Full-field OCT technique for high speed event-based optical flow and particle tracking. Opt Express. 2017 May 29;25(11):12611-12621. doi: 10.1364/OE.25.012611. PubMed PMID: 28786616.

Hoogewoud F, Frumholtz L, Loubet P, Charlier C, Blanche P, Lebeaux D, Benhaddou N, Sedira N, Coutte L, Vanhaecke C, Launay O, Le Jeunne C, Héron E, Monnet D, Lortholary O, Sahel JA, Dupin N, Brézin A, Errera MH, Salah S, Groh M (2017). Prognostic Factors in Syphilitic Uveitis. Ophthalmology. 2017 Aug 2. pii:S0161-6420(17)30925-9. doi: 10.1016/ j.ophtha. 2017.06.003. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28779905.

Guillonneau X, Eandi CM, Paques M, Sahel JA, Sapieha P, Sennlaub F (2017). Onphagocytes and macular degeneration. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2017 Jun 7. pii:S1350-9462(17)30035-6. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2017.06.002. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 28602950.

Boulanger-Scemama E, Akesbi J, Tick S, Mohand-Said S, Sahel JA, Audo I (2017). Multimodal imaging and functional correlations identify unusual cases of macular retinal pigment epithelium hypopigmentation occurring without functional loss.Doc Ophthalmol. 2017 Aug;135(1):77-83. doi: 10.1007/s10633-017-9592-z. Epub 2017 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 28593392.