Neurodegenerative diseases affecting the retina often result in permanent vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of blindness in developed countries. These conditions are associated with disruption of photoreceptor cell integrity as well as proliferation of novel vessels. Available treatment modalities are not able to completely halt neurogenesis and re-establish retinal function; therefore, cell-based therapies represent one of the most promising treatment methodologies in patients with vision-threatening conditions. Recent studies have revealed that the activation of endogenous retinal stem cells may contribute to retinogenesis. I am interested in developing an affinity-based sustained release of protein therapeutics to the retina for prolonging retinal stem cell activation and promoting cell proliferation and differentiation.
PhD Candidate, 2019 - Present