Position title: Graduate Student, Clinical Investigation Program (ICTR), School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty sponsor: Nader Sheibani
Associate Medical 2002, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran
BS 2004, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
MS 2008, Medical Mycology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
MS 2011, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Mitra Farnoodian works in Dr. Nader Sheibani’s lab (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), determining the roles of PEDF and TSP1, proteins produced by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with antiangiogenic activity, on RPE cell function. The RPE cells are the major source of these angioregulatory proteins whose alterations may contribute to various eye diseases with a neovascular component. Furthermore, RPE cells play a key role in the development and stabilization of retinal structure, and maintenance of the ocular vascular homeostasis. Thus far, her results indicate that deficiency in these proteins contribute to dysfunction of RPE cells and perhaps pathogenesis of exudative AMD. The impairment of RPE cell function is an early and crucial event in the molecular pathways leading to clinically relevant AMD changes. Moreover, the pathogenesis of AMD is associated with angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, predominantly from the choroid capillaries. Her preliminary results support a key regulatory role for PEDF and TSP1 in choroidal neo- vascularization and development of exudative AMD. Her current research is focused on the use of mimetic peptides derived from these molecules for treatment of exudative AMD.