Professor in Ophthalmology
Julia Levy BC Leadership Chair in Macular Research
Department Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of British Columbia Eye Care Centre
2550 Willow Street
Vancouver, BC, CANADA. V5Z3N9
Lab Office: 604-875-5275
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Clinical secretary: 778-968-4349; firstname.lastname@example.org
|1998-2009||Reader in Molecular Ophthalmology
Imperial College London, London. UK
|1997-1998||JW Kluge Research Fellow, (Foundation Fighting Blindness USA)
Professor R Weleber, Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR, USA.
|1995-1997||Senior Registrar in Ophthalmology
Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.
|1994-1995||Clinical Research Fellow, (Medical Research Council, UK)
Professor AC Bird, Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK.
In recent years a wealth of new information has become available on the causes of such retinal diseases as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. This has generated an ideal environment to study new, molecular approaches to treating common retinal diseases. Additionally by combining treatments, potential synergies can be studied - more effective outcomes might be achieved by concurrently targeting multiple points of the pathogenic pathway. In a team approach using rodent, zebrafish and xenopus model systems, we are investigating such synergistic combination therapies, to correcting retinal cell apoptosis, protein misfolding and inflammation.
Cells can be used in two ways to repair damaged retina: to replace lost cells (tissue regeneration) or as vehicles to deliver drugs to the retina (a difficult undertaking because of the retina's relative inaccessibility (e.g. the blood brain barrier prevents many drugs penetrating the retina). We are developing cell-based drug delivery techniques to allow for longer-term drug delivery and so avoid the need for repeated injections into the eye.
Many of the commonest causes of retinal disease (e.g. macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa) arise from genetic abnormality. We continue to work on identifying the genes underlying retinal disease, as a means of developing better methods of diagnosis and more importantly to identify new therapeutic targets through a better understanding of disease pathogenesis.
G-banded ideogram of the human genome highlighting retinal dystrophy loci and diseases studied as part of this research program.
Macular degeneration is the commonest cause of blindness in the western World. We are developing links with a number of pharmaceutical companies to trial new treatments for macular degeneration (e.g. photodynamic therapy, intra-vitreal anti-VEGF therapies). In collaboration with Mr NV Chong (King's College Hospital, London) we are also looking at links between the genetic defects underlying macular degeneration and systemic biomarkers so as to improve matching of patients to treatments.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Wellcome Trust
Crystal Family Trust
Birth Defects Foundation
British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society