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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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Life after death for the human eye

May 11, 2022

Scientists have revived light-sensing neuron cells in organ donor eyes and restored communication between them as part of a series of discoveries that stand to transform brain and vision research.

New UCI-led study lays foundation for establishing base editing as a one-time, durable treatment for inherited retinal degeneration

April 5, 2022

A new study indicates base editing may provide long-lasting retinal protection and prevent vision deterioration in patients with inherited retinal degeneration, specifically in Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) patients.
Stained image of retina

Correcting night blindness in dogs

March 22, 2022

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a gene therapy that restores dim-light vision in dogs with a congenital form of night blindness, offering hope for treating a similar condition in people.
retina blood vessels

Indiana University-led study shows human induced pluripotent stem cells improve visual acuity, vascular health

March 17, 2022

Researchers improved vision in a type 2 diabetes mouse model by reprogramming blood cells into endothelial cells with vessel reparative properties similar to endothelial colony forming cells.
Artist's rendering of photoreceptor signaling a retinal ganglion cell

Implanted chip, natural eyesight coordinate vision in study of macular degeneration patients

February 4, 2022

A Stanford scientist and his colleagues show that patients fitted with a chip in their eye are able to integrate what the chip “sees” with objects their natural peripheral vision detects.
Cone photoreceptors from retinal organoids

UW study finds photoreceptor cells from retinal organoids can replicate key function of vision

February 2, 2022

Researchers from the U. of Wisconsin have shown that a retinal cell type derived from human pluripotent stem cells is capable of the complex process of detecting light and converting that signal to electrical waves.

Living Retina Achieves Sensitivity and Efficiency Engineers Can Only Dream About

September 28, 2021

In a pair of papers on retinal structure, Duke University neurobiologists have shown that the rigors of natural selection and evolution have shaped the retinas in our eyes just as this theory of optimization would predict.

University of Oregon researchers develop gene therapy for eye disease

August 3, 2021

Researchers have developed a new gene therapy that could eventually provide an alternative treatment for Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy, a genetic eye disease affecting roughly one in 2,000 people globally.
Neurons (green) and their supporting astrocytes (red), created in a petri dish from stem cells.

Cell-replacement Therapies for Visual System Disorders

July 30, 2021

Two translational studies at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute are targeting photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to restore vision through regeneration of the retina. The research is funded by the NEI Audacious Goals Initiative.
Eye is shown connected to visual processing regions of the brain via the optic nerve. Enlargement of retina shows photorecetors, biopolar cells and retinal ganglion cells.

Scientists discover gene therapy provides neuroprotection to prevent glaucoma vision loss

July 22, 2021

A form of gene therapy protects optic nerve cells and preserves vision in mouse models of glaucoma, according to research supported by NIH’s National Eye Institute. The findings suggest a way forward for developing neuroprotective therapies for glaucoma.