Your impact 2023
Investing in a rising star
Your donations are helping PhD student Satheesh Kumar develop a gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases.
Thanks to your support, talented PhD student Satheesh Kumar will be able to continue his research to develop a new gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases (IRDs).
Funds generously donated by CERA supporters are enabling Satheesh to focus full-time on an innovative research project exploring a promising approach to gene therapy using ‘RNA base editing’.
Most inherited retinal diseases are caused by a mutation in specific DNA molecules – genetic instructions in our cells that produce RNA messengers and healthy proteins. RNA base editing is designed to correct these mutations and restore the proper production and function of proteins in our cells.
Unlike traditional gene therapy, RNA base editing changes specific RNA molecules, rather than modifying DNA directly. It is considered a safer approach as there is less risk of unintended alterations to the genome.
Satheesh’s cutting edge project uses an advanced gene editing technology that can be easily adapted to various IRDs, providing a highly flexible and versatile gene therapy.
Since joining CERA, Satheesh has built a strong track record in ophthalmology and genetic engineering research. The two-year scholarship will keep nurturing his research talent, supporting him to continue his PhD, progress the research project to further pre-clinical studies and potentially produce a patentable technology for treating IRD.
Satheesh says that he is honoured to receive the scholarship and is looking forward to making a real impact on the lives of people with IRDs through his research.
“I’m so grateful to all the donors who made this scholarship possible. The funding allows me to pursue research that is not only ground-breaking, but potentially life-changing,” says Satheesh.
“I hope that in the future, it will lead to a new treatment that can save the sight of people with inherited eye diseases.”