September 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

macular degeneration

2 min read

Masayo Takahashi is a leading stem cell researcher doing translational and clinical research on vision. She’s doing pioneering work on using pluripotent stem cells as a basis for helping patients with vision loss such as due to macular degeneration. She won The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award in 2014 and a number of other awards. Last week I did a post on some exciting new clinical trial work starting here in the US by the NIH/NEI, and that sparked a great …Read More

2 min read

In a surprise, Dr. Masayo Takahashi has announced that she has left RIKEN. Takahashi indicates she will be new President of a company called Vision Care, Inc. as part of the Kobe Eye Center. I’ve pasted a picture of Takahashi’s Tweet with translation more toward the bottom of the post. A big thanks to Piero Carninci, a biologist at RIKEN, for the heads up on this news. I’m sure they are very sad to see her go, but wish her the best! Here is …Read More

3 min read

Do stem cells for vision loss offer real hope? I believe so, but it’s a long road and must be done right. A new paper in this area generated some buzz on top of an earlier recent pub (mentioned in this post) just a week or so ago about the potential of stem cells for vision loss. The new paper is entitled, “A bioengineered retinal pigment epithelial monolayer for advanced, dry age-related macular degeneration” and is Kashani, et al. They generated special eye cells called retinal …Read More

1 min read

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) has confirmed that one of the patient in a clinical trial that it is running for treatment of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness worldwide, has shown a striking improvement in vision. The patient reportedly had 20/400 vision prior to treatment and now has 20/40 vision after treatment. ACT uses an embryonic stem cell-based therapy composed of retinal pigmented epithelial cells. The improvement in vision is unlikely to be due to chance, however it is still unclear how promising this …Read More