Professor José-Alain Sahel received the 2012 CNRS innovation medal. He is professor at UPMC andUniversity College London, head of ophthalmology at the Centre hospitalier national d'ophtalmologie des Quinze-Vingts and at the Rothschild Ophthalmological Foundation, as well as director of the Institut de la vision (joint Vision Institute of UPMC, CNRS and Inserm) in Paris. He discusses his team's work on the mechanisms of maintaining central vision that can be affected in certain pathologies or during aging.
At the Vision Institute, which has nearly 200 scientists from different disciplines (mathematics, physics, biology, medicine, etc.), José-Alain Sahel and his colleagues have developed innovative therapies for the protection of retinal photoreceptors and have identified proteins involved in a key mechanism for maintaining central vision. He also elaborates on his research on regenerative medicine, stem cells and gene therapy related to the treatment of retinal diseases.