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EMBO | Japan Virtual Lectures: Molecular and clinical approaches to restoring visual function
"Restoring vision"
Prof. Botond Roska, Director, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, Switzerland

My laboratory aims to find ways to repair visual dysfunction by investigating the function of the retina, thalamus, and cortex at the level of cell types and circuits, and using the acquired knowledge to understand disease mechanisms and to develop treatments.
We combine physiological, molecular, viral, and computational approaches to reveal the structure and function of visual circuits. We then connect the insights from our basic circuit research with human genetics to understand disease mechanisms and we use viral vectors to develop cell type-targeted gene therapy to treat visual dysfunction. Currently, we are focusing on cell type-targeted optogenetic therapy.

"Retinal cell therapy using iPS cells – Retinal organoid transplantation"
Dr. Masayo Takahashi, Senior Advisor, Research Center, and Dr. Tomohiro Masuda, Research scientist, Kobe Eye Center, Japan

iPSC-derived retinal organoid transplantation is a promising treatment for restoring visual function to degenerated retinas. We demonstrated that grafted photoreceptor cells formed synapses only when transplanted as organoids and achieved functional recovery in completely photoreceptor-degenerated blind mice after transplantation. Based on these findings, we conducted a clinical study using retinal organoids for retinitis pigmentosa.
Retinal sheets for replacement therapy are prepared by cutting transplantable regions from retinal organoids. Unexpectedly, two types of retinal spheroids were formed: one with normal retinal lamination and one without. These differences depend on the source of the RX+ retinal progenitor cells. In order to gain deeper insight into the quality of the retinal progenitor cells, we are performing single cell analysis of these spheroids.

Sep 14, 2022 05:00 PM in Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo

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