Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches for Inherited Retinal Degenerative Diseases

April 3, 2013 -
11:45am to 1:00pm

The Fox Center for Vision Restoration organizes an exciting lecture series focusing on ocular regeneration and new therapies.

Distinguished national and international speakers present their innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to finding cures for vision impairment. The objective of this lecture series is to accelerate research through knowledge sharing, partnership building and out-of-the-box thinking.

Robert Molday

Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches for Inherited Retinal Degenerative Diseases

Robert S. Molday, PhD
Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Dr. Molday is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is also the director of the Centre for Macular Research.

Dr. Molday focuses his research on the identification and characterization of rod and cone photoreceptor cells and elucidation of their role in 1) phototransduction; 2) outer segment structure and renewal; 3) protein trafficking; and 4) retinal degenerative diseases.

Presentation abstract

Over the past two decades, considerable progress has been made in the identification of genes responsible for a wide variety of retinal degenerative diseases. Currently, 192 genes have been linked to various retinal disorders and another 40 genes have been mapped. Most genes encode proteins essential for photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial cell survival. However, in many cases their role in cell structure, function and survival is poorly understood and the mechanisms by which mutant proteins cause a loss in function and cell death remain to be determined. In this seminar, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying two retinal degenerative diseases, Leber Congenital Amaurosis Type 12 and Stargardt macular degeneration will be discussed together with progress toward developing gene and drug therapy as potential therapeutic treatments for these diseases.

Location and Address

Eye and Ear Boardroom, 5th floor, Eye and Ear Institute
203 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213