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Restoring Vision: Code Breaking and Optogenetics is Topic of Latest Episode of ‘On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts’

March 16, 2022

Podcast Explores Technology that Could Restore Sight for People with Retinal Degeneration

NEW YORK (March 15, 2022) — What is the connection between how the Allies cracked the code to the machines Germany used to encode messages during World War II and the newest technology for people with vision loss? The latest episode of the Lighthouse Guild podcast “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” explores this fascinating subject.

Germany’s Enigma machines to encode messages during World War II were notorious for their complexity. The human brain is similarly complex, and until recently, no one knew the code the retina used to communicate with the brain to create sight. 

Dr. Tom Perera, a retired neuroscientist and founder of, and Dr. Mark Baldwin, an expert on the story of Enigma machines, will tell us how the Allies were able to crack the code by using input-output mapping.  

Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medicine and principal and founder of Bionic Sight, will talk about how she used input-output mapping to crack the retina’s neural code. This has enabled her to recreate the electric signals to the brain that could restore sight in people with retinal degeneration. She relies on optogenetics, a relatively new procedure in neuroscience that helps neurons become responsive to light. 

To top off the discussion, Barry Honig, who is participating in Dr. Nirenberg’s clinical trial, where she injects the optogenetic vector into the eye of patients who are completely blind, will report on being able to see light. 

Now in its second season, “On Tech and Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts” explores the big ideas that are making life better for people with vision loss. Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, president & CEO of Lighthouse Guild and podcast host, interviews innovators and experts who are breaking barriers with transformative technologies. 

“On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” is available online at and for downloading on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts iHeartRadio Podcasts and Twitter: @LighthouseGld #OnTechVision. The podcast has almost 7,000 downloads since it launched in 2020. 

About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services. For more information, visit

Press Contact:    Bryan Dotson, Manners Dotson Group


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