For immediate release: 02/29/2012 | NR-12-02-11

Media advisory: Next 'Science on Saturday' lecture looks at restoring sight to the blind

Linda A Lucchetti, LLNL, (925) 422-5815,

WHO: Lab scientist Sat Pannu and Tracy High School teacher Kirk Brown will present, "Restoring Sight to the Blind: Bridging the Medical Gap With Technology," at the fourth and final Science on Saturday lecture.

WHAT: Millions of people worldwide suffer from ocular diseases that degrade the retina, the light-processing component of the eye, causing blindness. As the population continues to age, the number of Americans blinded by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) will increase. Unfortunately, there are no therapeutic or curative options for these patients, and it has left them with little hope until now.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with four other national laboratories, four universities, and Second Sight Medical Products, has developed the first long-term retinal prosthesis that can function for years inside the harsh biological environment of the eye.

The presenters will explain how the device works, as well as the benefits and success of the prosthesis in clinical trials.

WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 2012

Session I: 9:30 a.m.

Session II: 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore.

NOTE: Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; there is no pre-registration. Directions and maps are available on the Web. Science on Saturday is presented by LLNL's Science Education Program.

This year, the Lab is expanding the availability of the talks by streaming them live via the LLNL Facebook page. To access the talks on Facebook, go to the Web.

More Information

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.