A new collaboration between the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway and Dr. David Kent, Consultant Ophthalmologist aims to investigate the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells in combating the loss of vision in diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
“AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in the over 50s. It is estimated the condition affects over 60,000 adults here in Ireland. The WHO has stated that the instances of AMD will triple in the next 25 years as our population ages, however there is currently no cure for the condition and awareness remains low” said Avril Daly, Head of Public Affairs at Fighting Blindness. She added “Irish researchers are making great inroads in discovering the causes and potential treatments for AMD and we at Fighting Blindness strongly support Dr. Kent and REMEDI in this important project and wish them every success”.
Amy Lynch, a Ph.D. student in REMEDI will investigate the therapeutic potential of stem cells to regenerate retinal cells in the macula area of the eye. Amy’s project will be based around the determination of efficacy in an in vivo model of macular degeneration, where she will avail of the in-house expertise in stem cells and delivery in REMEDI and will be supported with strong clinical and scientific guidance from both Dr. Kent and Prof. Frank Barry, REMEDI.
Des Kenny, CEO of NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) said “We are very excited about the contribution this project will make to supporting people with sight loss in this country. We were delighted many years ago to have been able to support David Kent’s choice of specialisation into this very important aspect of significant sight loss.”