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Seminar: "3D Human Stem Cell derived Eye Cups as a Model for..."

Fri, 7 Mar 2014 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM

Title: "3D Human Stem Cell derived Eye Cups as a Model for Studying Retinal Development and Disease"

Friday, March 7th at 12:20 pm, Bioscience room 1007

Karl Wahlin Ph.D.

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Abstract: Many blinding retinal degenerations involve the selective loss of retinal photoreceptors and once the disease course has begun there is little that can be done to stop the inexorable loss of photoreceptors that is bound to happen. Due to technical and ethical reasons, studies of human retinal development and disease have largely been limited to so-called 'model organisms’ that may not be ideal for studying the human retinal dystrophy. The advent of new methods for cultivating and differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) in the form of complex 3D retinal cups now makes it possible to not only uncover the fascinating biology driving eye formation in vivo but also makes it possible to use human cells for the study of ‘human' retinal disease. New genome-editing tools, such as that afforded by CRISPR/Cas9 molecular scissors, has further enabled us to develop state-of-the-art cell-type specific fluorescent reporters as well as a means to genetically modify virtually any cell type at any genomic position.

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