Production, characterization, and application of stem cell-derived photoreceptors
June 6, 2017
3-D organoids are the next big thing in disease modeling, drug screening, and tissue sourcing for transplantation. These miniature organs can be grown from patient-derived stem cells, providing a theoretically unlimited supply.
David Gamm, M.D., Ph.D., summarized efforts to develop retinal organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells in his talk, titled “Production, characterization, and application of stem cell-derived photoreceptors,” on June 6, 2017, on the NIH campus. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye that sends visual signals to the brain. The most common blinding conditions in the U.S. affect the retina, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Many rare conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa, also affect the retina. Retina organoids are the subject of a recently launched NEI 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge.
Gamm is the Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute, the Sandra Lemke Trout Chair in Eye Research, and an associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He investigates the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal development. A major focus of his work is generating cells for retinal disease modeling and cell replacement therapies. His lab’s efforts are ultimately directed toward creating and testing stem cell-based strategies to delay or reverse the effects of blinding retinal disorders.
The NEI AGI Seminar Series in Neuroregeneration explores topics relevant to regenerative neuroscience and medicine, with special emphasis on the visual system.