Research Images and Annotations are from the MERI 2017 Calendar

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

Cycle for Sight

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Please join us at the SERF, Nat, or Princeton Club West for the McPherson ERI's annual fundraiser!

Register for Cycle for Sight

Upcoming Event: McPherson Eye Research Institute's MERI-at-a-Glance
New Opportunity: Vision Science Instructional Lectures

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.

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 

Picture of Kuchera-Morin and her group
The Allosphere at UC/Santa Barbara is used to display complex data in a visual format

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

Researchers awarded grant to improve treatment of AMD

A multidisciplinary group of researchers is building a model of the retina that will help doctors better diagnose and develop treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Kristyn Masters and Pam Kreeger, both associate professors of biomedical engineering, in conjunction with Aparna Lakkaraju, an assistant professor with the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences...Read more

Gamm team and collaborators awarded NEI grant to reverse blindness

A UW-Madison research team of half a dozen McPherson ERI colleagues, along with collaborators at Johns Hopkins University, has been selected as one of six groups to receive funding from the National Eye Institute with the goal of restoring vision by regenerating photoreceptor cells.  Read more


Aparna Lab

Macular degeneration prevention advances with Lakkaraju team's new paper 

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....