UW vision researchers partner with U.S. Department of Defense to develop stem cell therapy for combat-related eye injuries

The new project, titled Outer Retina Reconstruction for Combat Afflictions or ORRCA, is a collaboration between the McPherson Eye Research Insitute at UW‒Madison, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the UW College of Engineering, the University of Birmingham (UK) and British Ministry of Defence and the National Eye Institute. It is funded by a grant for more than $5 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

David Gamm, MD, PhD – Slide of the Week

Numerous protocols have been described that produce neural retina from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), many of which are based on the culture of 3D organoids. While nearly all such methods yield at least partial segments of highly mature-appearing retinal structure, variabilities exist within and between organoids that can change over a protracted time course of differentiation.

David Gamm, MD, PhD

Cell type-specific investigations commonly employ gene reporters or single-cell (sc) analytical techniques. However, reporter line development is arduous and generally limited to a single gene of interest, while scRNA-seq frequently yields equivocal results that preclude definitive cell identification.

A decade after stem cell feat, research ramps up

A decade after scientists announced the development of induced pluripotent stem cells, Waisman investigators, including Su-Chun Zhang and David Gamm, continue to use these cells to research and develop potential therapies for several disorders and conditions, such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and macular degeneration.