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Arvydas Maminishkis Ph.D., M.D.

CORE Director – Surgical protocol, instrument development

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Dr. Arvydas Maminishkis graduated from Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow in 1993, obtaining dual degrees in Biophysics and Medicine. Expanding his expertise in immunology, Dr. Maminishkis earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Immunology at Vilnius University before embarking on postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley in California under Professor Sheldon Miller. His roles evolved from Assistant Specialist to Assistant Research Scientist at UC Berkeley, making significant contributions to RPE physiology and retinal cell biology.

In 2003, Dr. Maminishkis joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, serving as a Staff Scientist for seventeen years. His dedication and accomplishments led to his appointment as the Director of Translational Research Core at the Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch (OGVBF), National Eye Institute (NEI), NIH, concurrently holding the position of Senior Staff Scientist.

Recipient of multiple Director's Awards from the NEI, NIH, Dr. Maminishkis is recognized for his contributions to RPE cell therapy, IT support, and stem cell research. He holds patents for innovations in ocular tissue transplantation tools and methods for generating retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells.

Beyond individual achievements, Dr. Maminishkis actively contributed to the scientific community, participating in institute-wide committees and working groups. His roles encompassed emergency response, scientific information advisory committees, and initiatives implementing new IT technologies while optimizing maintenance agreements for precision instruments. Dr. Maminishkis remains committed to advancing the field of RPE physiology and translational research.

Current research

Our research pursuits are multifaceted, with a central goal of advancing our understanding of RPE (Retinal Pigment Epithelium) physiology. One of the research goals is to focus on simplifying and enhancing complex electrophysiology techniques, aiming to broaden accessibility for the wider research community and pharmaceutical industry. By making these techniques more approachable, we aspire to facilitate breakthroughs in the study of degenerative diseases, compelling us to generate novel animal models that can significantly advance our comprehension of such conditions.

In the realm of surgical innovation, we are committed to the creation and refinement of surgical instruments, developing cutting-edge techniques to enhance the precision and efficacy of RPE transplantation. Our efforts extend to adapting basic research protocols to meet translational requirements, ensuring that foundational scientific insights seamlessly transition into clinical applications. Embracing the latest technology, we seek to optimize and integrate it into our research endeavors, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in RPE-related studies.

Our commitment goes beyond discovery; we are dedicated to the dissemination of new findings to the wider scientific community, fostering collaboration and collective progress. Additionally, we place emphasis on optimizing RPE primary cultures, enhancing their reliability and utility for various applications. Through these concerted efforts, we aim not only to contribute to the scientific understanding of RPE function but also to provide practical tools and knowledge that can be harnessed by researchers and practitioners across diverse domains.

Selected publications

Lewallen CF, Chien A, Maminishkis A, Hirday R, Reichert D, Sharma R, Wan Q, Bharti K, A biologically validated mathematical model for decoding epithelial apical, basolateral, and paracellular electrical properties. Forest CR.Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2023 Dec 1;325(6):C1470-C1484. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00200.2023. Epub 2023 Oct 30.PMID: 37899750

Barone F, Amaral J, Bunea I, Farnoodian M, Gupta R, Gupta R, Baker D, Phillips MJ, Blanch RJ, Maminishkis A, Gamm DM, Bharti K. A versatile laser-induced porcine model of outer retinal and choroidal degeneration for preclinical testing. JCI Insight. 2023 Jun 8;8(11):e157654. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.157654.PMID: 37288665

Sharma R, Bose D, Maminishkis A, Bharti K Retinal Pigment Epithelium Replacement Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Are We There Yet? .Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2020 Jan 6;60:553-572. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010919-023245.PMID: 31914900

Lewallen CF, Wan Q, Maminishkis A, Stoy W, Kolb I, Hotaling N, Bharti K, Forest CR. High-yield, automated intracellular electrophysiology in retinal pigment epithelia. J Neurosci Methods. 2019 Dec 1;328:108442. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2019.108442. Epub 2019 Sep 25.PMID: 31562888

Sharma R, Khristov V, Rising A, Jha BS, Dejene R, Hotaling N, Li Y, Stoddard J, Stankewicz C, Wan Q, Zhang C, Campos MM, Miyagishima KJ, McGaughey D, Villasmil R, Mattapallil M, Stanzel B, Qian H, Wong W, Chase L, Charles S, McGill T, Miller S, Maminishkis A, Amaral J, Bharti K. Clinical-grade stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium patch rescues retinal degeneration in rodents and pigs. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jan 16;11(475):eaat5580. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat5580.PMID: 30651323

Khristov V, Maminishkis A, Amaral J, Rising A, Bharti K, Miller S. Validation of iPS Cell-Derived RPE Tissue in Animal Models. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1074:633-640. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_77.PMID: 29721997

Hotaling NA, Khristov V, Wan Q, Sharma R, Jha BS, Lotfi M, Maminishkis A, Simon CG Jr, Bharti K. Nanofiber Scaffold-Based Tissue-Engineered Retinal Pigment Epithelium to Treat Degenerative Eye Diseases. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jun;32(5):272-85. doi: 10.1089/jop.2015.0157. Epub 2016 Apr 25.PMID: 27110730

Li R, Wen R, Banzon T, Maminishkis A, Miller SS CNTF mediates neurotrophic factor secretion and fluid absorption in human retinal pigment epithelium. .PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e23148. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023148. Epub 2011 Sep 2.PMID: 21912637

Oh HM, Yu CR, Lee Y, Chan CC, Maminishkis A, Egwuagu CE. Autoreactive memory CD4+ T lymphocytes that mediate chronic uveitis reside in the bone marrow through STAT3-dependent mechanisms. J Immunol. 2011 Sep 15;187(6):3338-46. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1004019. Epub 2011 Aug 10.PMID: 21832158

Maminishkis A, Miller SS Experimental models for study of retinal pigment epithelial physiology and pathophysiology. .J Vis Exp. 2010 Nov 6;(45):2032. doi: 10.3791/2032.PMID: 21085105

Wang FE, Zhang C, Maminishkis A, Dong L, Zhi C, Li R, Zhao J, Majerciak V, Gaur AB, Chen S, Miller SS. MicroRNA-204/211 alters epithelial physiology. FASEB J. 2010 May;24(5):1552-71. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-125856. Epub 2010 Jan 7.PMID: 20056717

Li R, Maminishkis A, Banzon T, Wan Q, Jalickee S, Chen S, Miller SS. IFN{gamma} regulates retinal pigment epithelial fluid transport. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2009 Dec;297(6):C1452-65. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00255.2009. Epub 2009 Sep 30.PMID: 1979414

Maminishkis A, Chen S, Jalickee S, Banzon T, Shi G, Wang FE, Ehalt T, Hammer JA, Miller SS Confluent monolayers of cultured human fetal retinal pigment epithelium exhibit morphology and physiology of native tissue. .Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Aug;47(8):3612-24. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1622.PMID: 16877436

Maminishkis A, Jalickee S, Blaug SA, Rymer J, Yerxa BR, Peterson WM, Miller SS. The P2Y(2) receptor agonist INS37217 stimulates RPE fluid transport in vitro and retinal reattachment in rat. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Nov;43(11):3555-66.PMID: 12407168

Last updated: January 16, 2024