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NAEVR/AEVR Presents Plaque of Recognition to Retiring NEI Director at NIH Campus Event

Retiring NEI Director Paul Sieving, MD, PhD, center, holds a plaque of recognition presented to him by NAEVR/AEVR Boards President Paul Lee, MD, JD (Kellogg Eye Center/University of Michigan), left, and Alliances’ Executive Director James Jorkasky, right

Retiring NEI Director Paul Sieving, MD, PhD, center, holds a plaque of recognition presented to him by NAEVR/AEVR Boards President Paul Lee, MD, JD (Kellogg Eye Center/University of Michigan), left, and Alliances’ Executive Director James Jorkasky, right

On September 5, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a farewell event on its campus to honor Paul Sieving, MD, PhD who retired in late July after serving 18 years as Director of the National Eye Institute. He is moving to the University of California at Davis to create a new Center for Ocular Regenerative Therapy.

NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD spoke and also dedicated a personalized version of the song, “I Can See Clearly Now,” to Dr. Sieving, who was also recognized in brief comments by Brian Hofland, PhD (Research to Prevent Blindness), Joan O’Brien, MD (Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine) and in a letter from NAEVR/AEVR Director Joan Miller, MD (Mass Eye & Ear/Harvard Medical School) that was read by Acting NEI Director Santa Tumminia, PhD. NAEVR/AEVR Boards President Paul Lee, MD, JD presented Dr. Sieving with a plaque of recognition which read:

“In appreciation for his leadership of the NEI and his commitment to the vision health of all Americans.”

The plaque follows a NAEVR/AEVR statement of appreciation that was issued by Executive Director James Jorkasky in a June 27 press release upon announcement of Dr. Sieving’s departure.

The event drew attendance from many of the NIH Institute and Center (I/C) Directors, as well as current and former NEI employees and members of the vision community.


Dr. Collins sang a personalized version of “I Can See Clearly Now” after providing formal comments. The screen behind him featured a brief video of NIH colleagues and members of the vision community from across the nation recognizing his service.

Dr. Sieving with Iris Rush, CAE (ARVO), who serves as a NAEVR/AEVR Director

Dr. Lee is joined (image left) by Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD, who serves as Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), who spoke, and (right) John Burklow, who serves as the NIH Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison.

Dr. Sieving with Janine Austin Clayton, MD, who serves as NIH’s Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and previously served as NEI’s Deputy Clinical Director. Dr. Clayton has spoken frequently at AEVR Congressional Briefings, since she is an ophthalmologist who specializes in autoimmune ocular diseases, uveitis, and ocular surface disease.

Dr. Sieving with (from left): Joel Schuman, MD (Langone Eye Center/New York University School of Medicine), Joan O’Brien, MD (Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine), Paul Kaufman, MD (University of Wisconsin Medical School), and Brian Hofland, PhD (Research to Prevent Blindness). Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Hofland provided formal comments during the event.