Claude Burgoyne, Van Buskirk Chair for Ophthalmic Research and Director of the Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon will be delivering a seminar on “From Biomechanics to Proteomics – Toward the Mechanisms of Axonal Insult in Glaucoma” on Wednesday, November 16th at 12:00 Noon in the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Dr. Burgoyne is a Glaucoma clinician scientist, Van Buskirk Chair for Ophthalmic Research and Director of the Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. After an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and Medical School at the University of Minnesota, he pursued Ophthalmology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh and Glaucoma Fellowship training at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins Hospitals in Baltimore, MD. For twelve years he was Director of Glaucoma Services at the LSU Eye Center in New Orleans before moving to Devers in 2005. For the past 19 years his laboratory has been NIH funded to study the effects of aging and experimental glaucoma on the neural and connective tissues of the monkey optic nerve head within 3D histomorphometric reconstructions. This work now extends to studying the cell biology of connective tissue remodeling and axonal insult early in the disease.
Building upon its 3D capabilities, his laboratory is also funded to use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to visualize and quantify the deep tissues of the monkey and human optic nerve head and peripapillary sclera. The long-term goal of his work is to build a clinical science to predict how an individual optic nerve head will respond to a given level of intraocular pressure and the clinical tools to detect and treat that response.
The Webvision crew is on our way to Japan for the RD 2016 and ISER 2016 meetings in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan as we speak. We are promoting the hashtags #RD2016 and #ISER2016 for the meetings. If you want to meet to talk or arrange to have your work featured on Webvision, be sure to ping us at @webvision1 or @BWJones on Twitter before/during the meetings.
Glaucoma is the main cause of irreversible blindness in the world. In most common types of the disease, the optic nerve is damaged by an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) which blocks fluid drainage through canals in the eye. There is currently no cure, however, the disease can be treated by lowering IOP. Unfortunately, all IOP-lowering drugs that in the market today target the secondary drainage pathway which mediates only 5-15% of fluid outflow. Therefore, the main goal in glaucoma research has been to identify targets in the primary outflow pathway mediated through the trabecular meshwork tissue. David Krizaj’s group at the Moran Eye Institute (University of Utah School of Medicine) has done just that.
In a paper just published in Scientific Reports, they identify TRPV4, a mechanosensitive ion channel, as the main trabecular target of increased IOP. This highly collaborative project combined genetic, molecular, whole animal approaches with bioengineered nanoscaffold models of glaucoma and drug discovery to show that activation of the channel mimics the trabecular changes in glaucoma whereas elimination of the TRPV4 gene or systemic exposure to TRPV4 inhibitors protected mice from the disease. In collaboration with Glenn Prestwich’s group in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Utah, the team synthesized new eye drops which lowered IOP to levels seen in control mice. By targeting the primary outflow pathway, this study promises to bring new, effective cures that complement current glaucoma treatment. The primary authors of the study are Dr. Dan Ryskamp, Amber Frye and Dr. Tam Phuong.
Christine Curcio, Professor of Ophthalmology at University of Alabama At Birmingham School of Medicine will be delivering a seminar on “The 411 on subretinoid deposits in age-related degeneration” on Wednesday, June 8th at 12:00 Noon in the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Please Touch The Art is a short film about Andrew Myers, an artist who creates tactile art for the blind and visually impaired. Andrew got his start producing the art as a surprise for his friend George Wurzel and has continued to work in the medium designed to help the blind and low vision community participate in the art experience.
We are off to ARVO 2016 in Seattle, Washington to participate in the largest gathering of vision scientists and ophthalmologists in the world. It’s the annual meeting of researchers and clinicians presenting and discussing all things vision and ophthalmology.
If you are going to be at ARVO and want to meet up, leave us a comment here or send a Tweet to @Webvision1 and if you are on Twitter, be sure to use the #ARVO2016.
Vladimir Kefalov, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis will be delivering a seminar on “Calcium Homeostasis in Mammalian Rod and Cone Photoreceptors” on Wednesday, May 11th at 12:00 Noon in the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Abstract: Calcium plays an important role in the function and health of photoreceptors. Calcium modulates the phototransduction cascade and controls the response sensitivity, response kinetics, and adaptation. Abnormal calcium homeostasis, associated with mutations in multiple phototransduction proteins, has also been suggested to cause retinal degeneration and blindness. This talk will present the results of our recent studies on the mechanisms for extruding calcium from mammalian photoreceptors. We have identified novel mechanisms for regulating calcium in both rods and cones. The implications of our findings for the function and survival of mammalian photoreceptors will also be addressed
This is a fun and pretty accurate Youtube video on how different animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) visually process the world. There is so much to learn from the evolution of the eye and we here on Webvision are always happy to see basic science and the science of vision being communicated to the wider public.
There is an excellent editorial in the 25 March 2016 edition of Science Magazine from Francis Collins et. al. re-stating the NIH position on support for basic science. This is important for anyone applying to the NIH for grants as well as those reviewing NIH grants as the central question should be: “How much will the proposed work advance understanding and progress in the field?”.
The University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences invites applications for a full-time position at the level of Assistant/Associate Professor (commensurate w/experience) in the field of visual system function and or/disease. Successful candidates are expected to establish a strong research program funded by federal sources (NIH, NSF), to strengthen the current research carried out at the Moran Eye Institute as well as bring new areas of research into focus.
David Copenhagen, Professor of Ophthalmology and Physiology at University of California, San Francisco will be delivering a seminar on “Photoreception In Fetal And Newborn Mice: Actions On Behavior And Vascular Patterning In The Eye” on Wednesday, April 6th at 12:00 Noon in the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Melanopsin-mediated photoreception in fetuses and young neonatal mice.
The newly discovered melanopsin-expressing photoreceptors in the eye are born around mid fetal gestation and well before rod and cone-mediated visual signaling emerges (~postnatal day 10) in mice. Our research focuses on understanding what visual functions are facilitated by photo activated melanopsin cells in fetal and neonatal animals. I will discuss also our studies directed toward elucidating signaling pathways activated by melanopsin cells in the eye.
Stephen H. Tsang, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia University will be delivering a seminar on “Of Mice and Men: Between Bedside & Bench” on Wednesday, March 16th at 11:30am in the Moran Eye Center auditorium. Stephen will be discussing the application of genome engineering in stem cells to study “three blind mice”.
Lara Carroll, who works in the Bala Ambati laboratory will deliver a seminar on Anterior and Posterior Segments of the eye: Hijacking Corneal Development and Novel Therapeutics for Retinal Regeneration, on Wednesday, March 9th in the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Abstract: Non-keratinized epithelium is essential for corneal transparency and vision. The molecular defects causing millions of patients worldwide to suffer from corneal surface disease are largely unknown. During my post-doc in Mario Capecchi’s lab, I found that conditional misexpression of HoxC8 in surface ectoderm caused differentiation of embryonic mouse corneal and conjunctival epithelium into keratinized skin-like epithelium. Expression of the corneal genes Pax6 and K12 was lost, whereas basal epithelial cells upregulated P63, a keratinocyte stem cell marker. My work is consistent with recent data demonstrating a Wnt signaling/Pax6/P63 corneal requirement for maintenance of adult corneal epithelium, and reveals additional molecular events that are likely essential for proper epithelial differentiation of the ocular surface during corneal development.
In the Ambati laboratory, we test methods for preserving and regenerating the inner retina following a variety of retinal assaults. We found that preventative therapy involving COMP-Ang1/Tie2 signaling stabilizes vascular beds and reduces ischemic damage in mice with retinal stroke and diabetic retinopathy. I am now focused on developing complementary strategies to improve preservation of the inner retina and reverse damage after it occurs.