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Restoring Retinal Homeostasis to Treat Ophthalmological Diseases

Vascular leakage caused by loss of function of the blood–retinal barrier (BRB) and subsequent macular edema are the main causes of blindness in major eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, as well as rare diseases of the eye. Better understanding of molecular mechanisms regulating the BRB function could lead to identification of methods for delivery of drugs through the BRB and development of therapies to treat chronic ocular diseases.

Using mouse genetic techniques as well as optimized BRB permeability assays, researchers led by Dr. Chenghua Gu at Harvard Medical School have identified a set of genes as key regulators involved in retinal barrier-genesis. Current work in the lab is aimed at validation of these targets and development of the screening assays, enabling development of the modulators of BRB function.

We are looking for partners interested in a collaboration with the Gu lab and development of novel therapies for specific ocular diseases of interest.