The field of regenerative medicine holds the promise of engineering damaged or diseased tissues previously thought to be irreparable. Some approaches involve the use of stem cells, progenitor cells, and novel materials.

The NEI Office of Regenerative Medicine (ORM) has launched a new webinar series, called the Vision Innovation Seminars, to promote and disseminate cutting-edge research that is relevant to the vision community.  Authors of recently published articles will present their work to the research community through this monthly webinar series. This seminar series is recorded and can be made available upon request. 

Closed captioning is available for this event. If you require any other services, please contact the NEI Office of Regenerative Medicine at neiorm@nei.nih.gov at least 24 hours prior to the event.

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May 18, 2021 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Dr. Elisa Cuevas: Retinal organoids lacking NRL are rich in blue cone cells at expense of rod photoreceptors

Dr. Cuevas is a molecular biologist with over thirteen years of research experience acquired in Madrid, Berlin and London. During her PhD,  she developed a conditional mouse model to study cilia-linked centrosomal genes. She is an expert in stem cells, gene editing and gene replacement molecular research. Dr. Cuevas has used her expertise to investigate innovative brain development and retina regeneration treatments to restore sight.

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April 20, 2021 1:00-2:00 pm ET

Dr. Veselina Petrova: Making injured axons "protrude" again: Protrudin functions from the endoplasmic reticulum to support axon regeneration after optic nerve injury

Dr. Veselina Petrova completed her PhD in Clinical Neurosciences as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she worked on understanding the mechanisms behind successful axon regeneration and designing strategies to boost this process in non-regenerative systems. Veselina is currently a research fellow at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University where she studies chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and the crosstalk between degenerative and regenerative events in the neuron. 

Zoom link: https://nih.zoomgov.com/j/1609605005?pwd=ZXhLK2JlY2szclRvOWEyT2w3NWszUT09

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Previous Vision Innovation Seminars

Dr. Patrick Yu-Wai-Man: Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy – from Bedside to Bench (and Back)

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Dr Patrick Yu-Wai-Man is an academic neuro-ophthalmologist with a major research interest in mitochondrial genetics and inherited eye diseases. His research programme is currently focused on dissecting the disease mechanisms leading to progressive retinal ganglion cell loss in inherited optic neuropathies by using a combination of patient tissues, induced pluripotent stem cells and animal models. Dr Yu-Wai-Man leads the Clinical Vision Lab that was set up as a cross-cutting facility to support advanced therapeutics within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. In parallel, he is actively collaborating with an international network of academic and industrial partners in an effort to fast track the development of effective therapies for inherited optic neuropathies, including novel gene therapy approaches. In addition to his academic roles, Dr Yu-Wai-Man contributes to the clinical service of patients with mitochondrial disease at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge) and he runs a dedicated optic nerve genetics clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital (London).

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Dr. Levi Todd: The role of microglia in retinal regeneration

Dr. Levi Todd (University of Washington)

Dr. Levi Todd obtained his PhD in Neuroscience at The Ohio State University, where he worked with Dr. Andy Fischer. His work centered on uncovering the cell-signaling networks that control the neural regenerative capacity of Muller glia. Levi is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Thomas Reh’s lab at the University of Washington, where he is continuing to study retinal regeneration with a focus on the neuroimmune system.

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Dr. Nikolaos Mitrousis -  Retinal degeneration: bioengineering to the rescue

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Dr. Mitrousis completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Molly Shoichet. His work focused on developing bioengineering tools for studying and treating retinal degeneration, employing biomaterials and stem/progenitor cells. Nick is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, in the labs of Prof. Melody Swartz and Prof. Jeffrey Hubbell, focusing on modulating immune responses. 

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Dr. Shane Liddelow: Neurotoxic Reactive Astrocytes Drive Neuronal Death after Retinal Injury

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Dr. Liddelow gained his PhD with Katarzyna Dziegielewska and Norman Saunders in Pharmacology from the University of Melbourne. His graduate work focused on the protective barriers of the brain during early development. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Ben Barres at Stanford University, he discovered a close association between astrocytes, microglia (the resident immune cells of the brain), and abnormal neuron function. He showed that one form of reactive astrocyte is induced by factors released by microglia. These reactive astrocytes release a toxic factor that kills specific subtypes of neurons and are present in brains of patients with several neurodegenerative diseases. In 2018, he started his own research group at NYU School of Medicine in New York City.

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Dr. Christopher McTiernan & Ms. Fiona Simpson: LiQD Cornea: Pro-regeneration collagen mimetics as patches and alternatives to corneal transplantation

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Dr. Chris McTiernan obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Ottawa and trained as a postdoctoral fellow in May Griffith’s laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Montreal, and Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, where he developed the current LiQD Cornea formulation. He continues to work in translational regenerative medicine, developing collagen mimetic materials for use in soft tissue repair, as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Ms. Fiona Simpson is a PhD student in the University of Montreal Biomedical Engineering program. Her thesis focuses on the use of extracellular vesicles and exosomes as biomarkers for regenerative medicine applications. She conducts her doctoral research at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, under the supervision of Dr. May Griffith and Dr. Marie-Claude Robert.

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Dr. Divya Sinha: Mutation dependent gene therapy strategies for a genotypically diverse dominant maculopathy

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Dr. Divya Sinha completed her PhD in the lab of Dr. Michael Shogren-Knaak at Iowa State University. As a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. David Gamm’s lab, her training involved human pluripotent stem cell-based disease modeling and its applications for retinal degenerative disorders. Currently, she is a scientist in the Gamm lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Dr. Brian Clark: Retinal development at single-cell resolution

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Dr. Clark received his training within the labs of Dr. Brian Link (PhD; Medical College of Wisconsin) and Dr. Seth Blackshaw (Post-doc; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), focusing on understanding the cellular features and transcriptional networks governing retinal neurogenesis and cell fate specification. Dr. Clark recently established his independent lab at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) in the John F Hardesty, MD Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

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Dr. Tea Soon Park: Vascular Progenitor Cells Generated from Human Naïve Diabetic iPSC for Revascularization of Ischemic Retina

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Dr. Park obtained her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburg and was trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Pediatric Oncology and Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Park is currently a key member of Dr. Kapil Bharti’s laboratory in the Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch (OGVFB) at NEI.

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Last updated: March 25, 2021