Research Images and Annotations are from the MERI 2017 Calendar


Retinal Stem Cell Research: Promise, Progress, and Pause

With stem cells the focus of much recent attention in the media, this statement from Dr. David Gamm clarifies both the promise and the misconceptions about stem cell use for vision therapies.


5th Annual McPherson ERI Endowed Lecture:  Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel, MD, PhD
Shooting in the Dark: Maintaining cone function in retinal degenerations

Picture of Jose-Alain Sahel, PhD, MD
Dr. José-Alain Sahel, MD, PhD

Date: April 27, 2017
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 1335
Pre-Lecture Reception: 3:30pm - 4:30pm in HSLC Atrium

Cone functional loss is the key event leading to blindness in rod-cone dystrophies.  Dr. Sahel's lab embarked on a "fishing expedition" aimed at identifying the mechanisms underlying this loss, turning up potential clues for therapies aiming at preserving/restoring light-adapted and central vision in these patients. With collaborators Thierry Leveillard and Saddek Mohand-Said, Dr. Sahel discovered Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor, identified its receptor, and demonstrated its potential therapeutic benefit in several animal models, paving the way to upcoming clinical trials. This strategy has been extended to attempt to restore cone or inner retinal function by optogenetics. In depth phenotyping will guide the selection of target populations of patients that might benefit from these strategies; the development of novel, real life, functional outcome measurements will be needed to demonstrate its therapeutic value.

5th Annual Lecture FlyerDr. 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.

Here is the event poster.


Protein Discovery

Dr. Akihiro Ikeda

Dr. Akihiro Ikeda, Professor of Medical Genetics and RRF Walter H. Helmerich Research Chair at the McPherson Eye Research Institute, has published a study of a novel protein that could lead to potential new treatments for age-related retinal diseases. Read more

Photoreceptor Replacement Research

Dr. David Gamm

Dr. David Gamm gave an overview of the current state of photoreceptor replacement research at Wednesday Nite @ the Lab in February. Watch the video.


Current Opportunity: Vision Research Trainee Grant
New Opportunity: Vision Science Instructional Lectures


Thank you for making Cycle for Sight 2017 successful!
Stay tuned for photos!