2014 – ISSCR Press Releases and Statements

Stem Cells May be Key to Curing Retinal Disease

May 09, 2014

The Public is Invited to Learn More at “Retinal Repair through Stem Cell Transplantation,”
A Live Public Webcast from the ISSCR, May 15, 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. EDT

CHICAGO — May is Healthy Vision Month, and the International Society for Stem Cell Research is pleased to share advancements related to stem cell research and retina repair. Recent research in mice shows transplantation of photoreceptors into vision impaired mice is helping them to see better, a potentially exciting discovery for the millions of people who suffer from vision loss.

Robin Ali, Ph.D., UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, has developed a strategy for repairing the retina by transplanting photoreceptor cells generated in the laboratory from embryonic stem cells.

“Our goal is to apply what we are learning from mouse studies to humans and, ultimately, to find ways of developing clinical grade production of human embryonic stem cell-derived photoreceptors for transplantation,” Ali said. “Optimistically, clinical trials are still five years down the road, but we are laying the groundwork now for safe and effective future therapies for retinal disease.”

Ali’s research follows another scientific success related to vision. Transplanting corneal stem cells to repair chemical burns of the cornea is one of the first proven stem cell applications in humans and is becoming increasingly routine.

The ISSCR is hosting a free public webcast, entitled “Retinal Repair through Stem Cell Transplantation” on May 15, from 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. EDT. Ali will present an overview of current research and its potential and will field questions from participants. The event will be available via the ISSCR Connect Public Channel at www.isscr.org/home/connect/login, and interested participants are encouraged to register in advance.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org)
The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.

Contact: Michelle Quivey, Senior Communications Manager
International Society for Stem Cell Research
+1-224-592-5012; mquivey@isscr.org

Interviews with Ali are available upon request
 
###