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Using pluripotent stem cells to model AMD

Research Unit: Neuroregeneration
Primary Supervisor: Dr Alice Pébay
Tel: +613 9929 8165 / Email: apebay@unimelb.edu.au

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Virtually nothing is known about how or why retinal cells die in AMD; however, genetic background is a significant risk factor. Our research uses stem cells from patients with eye diseases to better understand the underlying cause of diseases. In this project, we will reprogram skin and hair cells from these patients with specific genetic risk associated with AMD into induced pluripotent stem cells, and then drive the stem cells to become retinal pigmented epithelial cells to create an in vitro model in which to study AMD pathogenesis. By examining how these retinal cells die, we expect to find ways to block this process, which is an important step towards developing therapies.


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