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Ocular Genomics Institute

Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute

Donor photoreceptor integration into wild-type retina

Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology

Demetrios G. Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D.
Michael J. Young, Ph.D.

Tissue and stem cell therapies hold enormous promise for repairing ocular tissues. Our investigators lead the effort to develop revolutionary methods to regenerate eye tissues for various diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, corneal disease, and ocular cancer. They significantly advanced the understanding of tissue and stem cell transplantation in the retina—particularly in terms of graft survival and the formation of functional neural connections after transplantation. Our investigators are also developing biomaterials that can be used for delivering neuroprotective agents or stem cells to the retina; the engineered biomaterials have also been shown to promote survival and functional growth of neurons after transplantation.

Image: Donor photoreceptor integration into recipient retina.