Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., became director of the National Eye Institute, NIH, in 2001. At the University of Michigan Medical School, he was the Paul R. Lichter Professor of Ophthalmic Genetics and was the founding Director of the Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He received his M.D. in 1978 and a Ph.D. in bioengineering in 1981 from the University of Illinois, and completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Sieving is known internationally for studies of human progressive blinding genetic retinal neurodegenerations, termed retinitis pigmentosa, and rodent models of these conditions. His laboratory study of pharmacological approaches to slowing degeneration in transgenic animal models led to the first human clinical therapy trial of ciliary neurotrophic factor for retinitis pigmentosa, which he reported in PNAS in 2006. He also successfully treated a genetic mouse model of X-linked retinoschisis using gene transfer which restored retinal function in adult mice. He maintains a clinical practice for patients with these and other genetic forms of retinal diseases, including Stargardt juvenile macular degeneration. Dr. Sieving served as Vice Chair for Clinical Research for the Foundation Fighting Blindness from 1996-2001. He serves on the Bressler Vision Award Committee and on the jury for the annual 1 million euro Award for Vision Research of the Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal. He was elected to membership in the American Ophthalmological Society in 1993 and the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis in 2005. He received an honorary Doctor of Science from Valparaiso University in 2003. He was named as one of The Best Doctors in America in 1998, 2001 and 2005. Dr. Sieving has received numerous awards, including the RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award, 1998; the Alcon Award, Alcon Research Institute, 2000; and the 2005 Pisart Vision Award from the New York Lighthouse International for the Blind. Dr. Sieving was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences in 2006.