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NEI Research News

Thanks to the work of NEI scientists and grantees, we’re constantly learning new information about the causes and treatment of vision disorders. Get the latest updates about their work — along with other news about NEI.

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NEI researchers home in on a new cause of Stargardt disease

October 27, 2022

Using a new stem-cell based model made from skin cells, scientists found the first direct evidence that Stargardt-related ABCA4 gene mutations affect a layer of cells in the eye called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
RPE cell

NEI scientists publish protocol for making patient-derived eye tissue

September 28, 2022

The protocol gives step-by-step instructions, starting with patient-derived pluripotent stem cells, transitioning them to retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells and finally maturing them into RPE tissue.
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First U.S. patient receives autologous stem cell therapy to treat dry AMD

August 31, 2022

The patient received the therapy as part of a clinical trial that is the first in the United States to use replacement tissues from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells.
Photoreceptor precursors

Progress toward a stem cell–based therapy for blindness

July 28, 2022

A multi-institutional effort led by researchers at the UPenn School of Veterinary Medicine is taking steps to develop an effective technique to regenerate photoreceptors cells and restore sight in people with vision disorders.
NEI scientists Mitra Farnoodian Tedrick and Kapil Bharti with KTEF Commanders

Knights Templar Eye Foundation funds NEI scientist’s search for therapies to treat blinding eye disease

July 5, 2022

NEI researcher Mitra Farnoodian Tedrick, Ph.D., received a $65,000 grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) to identify drugs to treat a rare blinding condition called Stargardt disease.
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Retinal cell map could advance precise therapies for blinding diseases

May 6, 2022

Researchers have identified distinct differences among the cells comprising a tissue in the retina that is vital to human visual perception. The scientists from the National Eye Institute (NEI) discovered five subpopulations of retinal pigment epithelium.
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NIH researchers identify potential AMD drugs with stem-cell based research tool

December 15, 2021

Using a stem-cell-derived model, researchers have identified two drug candidates that may slow dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness for which no treatment exists.
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NIH study traces molecular link from gene to late-onset retinal degeneration

December 9, 2021

Scientists have discovered that gene therapy and the diabetes drug metformin may be potential treatments for late-onset retinal degeneration (L-ORD), a rare, blinding eye disease.
Schematic showing how to produce iPS cells

NIH launches first U.S. clinical trial of patient-derived stem cell therapy to replace and repair dying cells in retina

December 16, 2019

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) are launching a clinical trial to test the safety of a novel patient-specific stem cell-based therapy to treat geographic atrophy, the advanced “dry” form of age-related macular degeneration.
Image of scanning electron micrograph

NIH, NIST researchers use artificial intelligence for quality control of stem cell-derived tissues

November 14, 2019

Researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate stem cell-derived “patches” of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) tissue for implanting into the eyes of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.