UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute
by name
Afshari, Natalie A. Brown, Stuart I. Chao, Daniel L. Ferrara, Napoleone Ferreyra, Henry A. Freeman, William R. Goldbaum, Michael H. Granet, David B. Haw, Weldon W. Heichel, Chris W. Kikkawa, Don O. Korn, Bobby S. Lee, Jeffrey E. Lin, Jonathan H. Nguyen, Thao P. Nudleman, Eric Robbins, Shira L. Savino, Peter J. Slight, Rigby Weinreb, Robert N. Welsbie, Derek S. Zhang, Kang
by specialty
Comprehensive Ophthalmology Cornea & Refractive Surgery Glaucoma Neuro-Ophthalmology Ophthalmic Genetics Ophthalmic Pathology Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Optometry & Low Vision Pediatric Ophthalmology & Eye Alignment Disorders Refractive Surgery / LASIK Retina & Vitreous Thyroid Eye Clinic
by condition
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) Cataracts Corneal Conditions Cosmetic Surgery Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Movement Disorders Glaucoma Hereditary (Genetic) Disorders Low Vision Neuro-Ophthalmic Conditions Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Pediatric Conditions Refractive Errors Retinal Diseases Thyroid Eye Disease

Promise of Gene Therapy for Glaucoma Shines Bright in Award-Winning Image

Whether you see the gossamer wings of a butterfly or the delicate opened petals of a flower, there is beauty in the eye of the beholder — a mouse retina described and visually captured by scientists at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health.

[mouse_retina]

Confocal microscope image of mouse retina sparkling with fluorescent molecules. Image courtesy of Keunyoung Kim, Wonkyu Ju and Mark Ellisman, all of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at UC San Diego.

The confocal microscope image, which depicts a mouse retina sparkling with fluorescent molecules, has been awarded first prize in the National Institutes of Health’s 2016 Combined Federal Campaign “Beauty of Science,” an arts competition to inspire awareness and support of federal scientific efforts.

The image was featured in a study published last year in the journal Cell Death and Disease by UC San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute researchers investigating potential restorative therapies for glaucoma, a progressive disease involving damage to the eye’s optic nerve and irreversible vision loss. An estimated 70 million people worldwide, including 3 million Americans, suffer from glaucoma, though many are unaware and undiagnosed. It is the leading cause of blindness in persons over age 60.

Glaucoma is characterized by the gradual death of neurons called retinal ganglion cells, which transmit light information from the retina to the brain via the optic nerve. “Past research has suggested that targeting these cells with gene therapy designed to prevent their death might slow progression of the disease,” said Robert N. Weinreb, MD, director of both the Hamilton Glaucoma Center and Shiley Eye Institute, and a co-author of the 2015 Cell Death and Disease paper.

Weinreb, with senior author Wonkyu Ju, PhD, associate professor, and colleagues investigated whether a non-disease-causing virus could be used to effectively deliver therapeutic genes to retinal ganglion cells. In the award-winning image, created by Ju, associate project scientist Keunyoung Kim, PhD, and NCMIR director Mark Ellisman, PhD, a virus carrying a gene tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) was introduced into the eyes of 7-month-old mice.

Two months later, the retinas were examined using large-scale mosaic confocal microscopy, a technique pioneered at NCMIR with funding support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. “It’s similar to Google Earth in that we computationally stitch together many, many small high-resolution images,” said Ellisman, who also directs the Center for Research in Biological Systems, which promotes cross-disciplinary research involving NCMIR, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and UC San Diego Health Sciences.

In the image, GFP expression (yellow) is observed broadly distributed in all parts of retinal ganglion cells, suggesting the viral delivery system could deliver therapeutic genes. The blue dots indicate Brn3a-positive retinal ganglion cells. Brn3a is a marker for retinal ganglion cells. This was stained for examining transduction efficiency of AAV2-GFP in retinal ganglion cells.

 

https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2016-10-17-NIH-beauty-of-science-award-winning-image.aspx

Appointments

To make an appointment, call
(858) 534-6290
All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Clinic Hours

Monday - Friday
7:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday
7:45am - 2:00pm

Phone Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
Saturday
8:00am - 2:00pm

Email Us

Have Questions? Contacting us has never been easier. Leave us a question or comment today!

Parking

Complete patient parking information available on the Contact Us page under Directions.

Whats Your Symptom Disclaimer

The information contained in this online site is intended to provide accurate and helpful health information for the general public. It is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services on this site. The information should not be considered complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. It should not be used in place of a call or visit to a medical, health or other competent professional, who should be consulted before adopting any of the suggestions in this site or drawing inferences from it.

The information about drugs contained on this site is general in nature. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular drug.

The operator(s) of this site, and the publisher, specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the material on this site.

Click Here To Accept

Email Us

First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone
MRN
Topic

Required *

Submit