Four Named to NEI Advisory Council

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News Feature
07/01/07

Four new members were recently named to the National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC). They are:

  • Mae Gordon, Ph.D., professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the Division of Biostatistics, Washington University School of Medicine. She is principal investigator (PI) and director of NEI-supported clinical studies including the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, a clinical trial that showed the safety and efficacy of medical treatment in reducing the risk of glaucoma in ocular hypertension. Dr. Gordon is also PI and director of the first multi-center study funded by the NEI in optometry, the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus Study. Dr. Gordon has been chairperson of numerous oversight committees including the Beaver Dam Eye Study and the Baltimore Eye Study.
  • Douglas H. Johnson, M.D., is a professor of ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. In addition, he is a clinician-scientist with an active clinical practice in glaucoma. He runs a basic science research laboratory probing the causes of glaucoma. His work involves culture of human eyes, the study of the tissue of eyes affected by glaucoma, the molecular biology of the eye, and the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of glaucoma treatment. Once, while giving a lecture at the American Glaucoma Society, Dr. Johnson performed a live demonstration in which he showed that playing his bagpipes on stage raised his own eye pressure by 15 mmHg. He has received continuous NIH Research funding since 1987.
  • M. Christine McGahan, Ph.D., head of the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina State University. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During this time, she received her first NEI grant that has been continuously funded for 25 years. Her areas of scientific expertise include ocular pharmacology and lens biochemistry. Dr. McGahan has participated in a number of ad hoc NIH review panels and has been very active in eye research related scientific organizations.
  • Val C. Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D. is director of The University of Iowa Interdepartmental Research Program in Human Molecular Genetics and director of The University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Medical Genetics. In 1998, Dr. Sheffield became an associate investigator and in 2003 became an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has continually received grant funding from NIH and has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Recently, he and colleagues identified genes that cause a certain rare inherited disease called Bardet-Biedl Syndrome. Dr. Sheffield is actively involved in the Human Genome Project and the Rat Genome Project.