Date: April 27, 2017
Location: Health Science Learning Center, Room 1335
Cone functional loss in rod-cone dystrophies is the key event leading to blindness. We embarked on a "fishing expedition" aiming at identifying the underlying mechanisms as potential clues for therapies aiming at preserving/restoring light-adapted and central vision in these patients. The discovery, with Thierry Leveillard and Saddek Mohand-Said of Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor, the identification of its receptor and the demonstration of potential therapeutic benefit in several animal models pave the way to upcoming clinical trials. This strategy is now extending to attempts to restore cone or inner retinal function by optogenetics. Selection of target populations of patients that might benefit from these strategies will rely on in depth phenotyping while demonstration of therapeutic value will require the development of novel, real life, functional outcome measurements.
Dr. José-Alain Sahel, MD, PhD, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He holds The Eye and Ear Foundation Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology in the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Dr. Sahel is also the Director of Institut de la Vision at the Pierre et Marie Curie Medical School, Sorbonne Universites/Inserm/CNRS, Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie, Paris.
8th Annual McPherson ERI Vision Science Poster Session Draws a Crowd
The McPherson ERI's annual poster session, held on Tuesday, October 4th in the atrium of the School of Medicine and Public Health, attracted close to 100 McPherson ERI members and affiliated researchers. 37 MERI members, including many trainee members, displayed their current research in a wide range of vision science fields. Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Director and Chief Scientist of the AlloSphere Research Facility and Professor of Media Arts & Technology and of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, gave the annual McPherson ERI Lecture...Read more
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published a new paper by Li Xuan Tan, Kimberly Toops, and Aparna Lakkaraju which pinpoints how immune abnormalities in the retinal pigment epithelium can cause macular degeneration. The paper also notes that drugs commonly used to treat depression can counteract these abnormalities and protect the retina. Read more....
The McPherson Eye Research Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary with the 4th Annual Endowed Lecture on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Pawan Sinha, PhD, Professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, spoke about "Learning to See Late in Childhood." His lecture focused on Project Prakash - an initiative restoring sight to blind children - and on his associated research, tracking visual learning and brain plasticity through a combination of behavioral and brain imaging studies.
On Friday, February 19th, MERI-at-a-Glance successfully took place at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), with eight short research talks. From cataracts and glaucoma, viral gene delivery to therapeutic stem cell interventions, and computational optics to toddlers and TV: vision research conducted by McPherson ERI members across campus was shared, networking took place, and new connections were made. Attendance was great!