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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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Putting stem cell-based therapies in context

November 16, 2022

Rogue clinics offer stem cell-based therapies that haven’t been tested for safety and efficacy. When communicating to the public about stem cell-based therapies, it is important to put any treatment claims in context.
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Seeing in 3D

November 9, 2022

Columbia University researchers examined what goes wrong in the eyes of mice with albinism.
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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).
Red, green and blue dots on screen representing RPE protein

NIH scientists discover essential step in recharging the eye’s light-sensing retina

October 26, 2022

Scientists have discovered a mechanism by which an area of a protein shape-shifts to convert vitamin A into a usable form for the eye’s light-sensing photoreceptor cells.
Florescent photo of mouse rod photoreceptor, next to photoreceptor schematic showing cell body, inner and outer segments.

Scientists shine light on how eyes adapt to the dark

October 14, 2022

A basic research study from the National Eye Institute (NEI) explains how the molecule transducin moves within light-sensing rod photoreceptors in mouse retina to help the eye quickly adapt from bright to low light and back.
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3D map reveals DNA organization within human retina cells

October 7, 2022

National Eye Institute researchers mapped the organization of human retinal cell chromatin, the fibers that package 3 billion nucleotide-long DNA molecules into compact structures that fit into chromosomes within each cell’s nucleus.
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.
Retinal organoid with green photoreceptor outer segments.

NIH researchers develop gene therapy for rare ciliopathy

September 8, 2022

Researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI) have developed a gene therapy that rescues cilia defects in retinal cells affected by a type of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a disease that causes blindness in early childhood.
Fluorencent microscope image of retinal organoid colored in red, blue and green

Three teams win NIH’s 3D Retinal Organoid Challenge

August 31, 2022

Three scientific teams that developed physiologically competent retinal organoid systems have won the final phase of the 3D Retinal Organoid Challenge (3D ROC).
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.