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Saving sight. Changing lives.

Cellular Reprogramming

Affiliated with the University of MelbourneUniversity of Melbourne Logo

Lead Researcher: Dr Raymond C.B. Wong 

Current Research

Blindness is one of the most feared disabilities and many common causes of blindness are currently untreatable. The extreme difficulty in obtaining eye tissue from living people currently represents a major barrier to studying and treating blinding diseases. The cellular reprogramming group use induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to model eye diseases affecting the optic nerves. We focus on generating patient-specific iPSCs and developing methods to differentiate pluripotent stem cells into retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Generation of disease-specific iPSCs and RGCs will allow us to study the precise mechanism underlying the pathology of eye diseases, as well as allowing us to screen drugs to improve treatment options and development of gene therapy and cell replacement therapy.

Figure 1: Derivation of patient-specific iPSCs have the potentials for disease-modelling and development for drug screening and cell replacement therapy.