Dr. Sieving became director of the National Eye Institute in June 2001. He came from the University of Michigan where he was the Paul R. Lichter Professor of Ophthalmic Genetics and director of the Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. During his training, he studied nuclear physics at Yale Graduate School in 1970-73 and attended Yale Law School from 1973-74. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1978, and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Illinois Graduate School in 1981. Dr. Sieving did his ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago, and he then completed fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Sieving’s area of personal research is in human hereditary retinal and macular degenerations. He maintains a clinical practice for patients with these genetic forms of retinal disease which are otherwise known by the terms retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt macular degeneration. His laboratory is studying pharmacological approaches to retard degeneration in transgenic and naturally occurring animal models that are corollaries of human eye disease. He served as the vice chair for clinical research for The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Baltimore, MD, from 1996-2001. Dr. Sieving has received a number of awards, including Distinguished Alumnus Award, Valparaiso University, 1991, membership in the American Ophthalmological Society, 1993, The Best Doctors in America: Midwest Region, 1996-97, RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award, 1998, The Best Doctors in America: 1998-99, and the Alcon Award, Alcon Research Institute, 2000.