Monday, March 21, 2016,  12:00– 1:30 pm, in 489 Minor Hall

Retinal Progenitor Sheet Transplants to Restore Vision in Advanced Retinal Degeneration

presented by

Magdalene Seiler, PhD

 Project Scientist
Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

Dr. Seiler has worked for decades in the field of retinal transplantation. Together with her colleague Robert Aramant, she developed a model of transplanting retinal progenitor sheets to the subretinal space of rodent retinal degeneration (RD) models. Such transplants have been shown to restore visual responses in the brain and make synaptic connections with the recipient’s retina. Their research resulted in a phase II clinical trial which demonstrated vision improvements in 6/10 patients by sheet transplants of fetal retina with their RPE.

In 2014, she was awarded a 3-year grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to develop human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into transplantable sheets of retina and RPE.  A new rat model, immunodeficient RD rats, is used to demonstrate the transplant’s effects on vision. We have completed a study to show restoration of visual responses by fetal rat transplants in this model. Ongoing studies are investigating transplants of human fetal and hESC-derived retinal progenitor sheets.


Host: Chris Wildsoet

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