"Retinal transplantation – Visual restoration in retinal degeneration"

December 5, 2012 -
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.

Magdalene J. SellerMagdalene J. Seiler, PhD
Project Scientist V
Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Reeve-Irvine Research Center
University of California, Irvine
School of Medicine
(Please RSVP to farrelljb@upmc.edu)

Dr. Magdalene Seiler is the lead researcher of the retina project of the Keirstead Research group at UC Irvine with the goal of developing human stem cells to transplantable 3-D sheets of retinal progenitor cells for vision restoration.

She received her Ph.D. in 1985 from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, with a Graduate fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Neurochemistry in Martinsried (supervisor Martin Schwab). Her thesis focused on the role of neurotrophic factors in the Central Nervous System. She continued with post-doctoral studies in Winston-Salem, NC and Boston, MA (Schepens Eye Research Institute), followed by a 10-year faculty appointment at the University of Louisville and 4 years as Research Assistant Professor at the Doheny Eye Institute, Departments of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Cell & Neurobiology at USC, Los Angeles.

Her scientific career concentrated on retinal transplantation, retinal degeneration models, retinal development, stem cells and neurotrophic factors.

Presentation abstract

Millions of people suffer from blindness caused by incurable degenerative diseases of the retina, affecting both retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). A unique model, transplantation of sheets of freshly harvested fetal retina with its RPE can restore lost visual responses in rodents and humans. Proof of principle has been established since 2001. Restoration of responses in the brain can be directly traced to transplant neurons, proven by synaptic connections between transplant and host. With the help of this model and based on its results, the current research goal is to develop human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to transplantable sheets of retinal progenitor cells with RPE.