I was awarded an Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation grant for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research. This 3 year grant was awarded to apply Computational Molecular Phenotyping (CMP) to conduct research into both the aging retina and the blinding disease, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that may provide some insight into clinical treatments.
We actually found out about this in December, making for a rather nice Christmas present, but I did not want to actually say anything until it was official. Nevertheless, we are very excited about the opportunities this brings us and cannot wait to get started.
In addition to me, other scientists receiving the award are Margaret DeAngelis, Ph.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, James Handa, M.D., Peter Campochiaro, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Scott Fraser, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Patsy Nishina, Ph.D., The Jackson Laboratory; Victor Perez, M.D., Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami; Janet Sparrow, Ph.D., Columbia University; Constance Cepko, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; Rajendra Apte, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine; Albert Edwards, M.D., Ph.D., Institute for Molecular Biology, University of Oregon; Douglas Vollrath, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine; Christine Curcio, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Patricia D’Amore, Ph.D., Schepens Eye Research Institute.
The image above is a focus stacked image from the diseased retina of a patient with AMD who donated his eyes to research. We are tremendously grateful for these donations as they make this work possible. What you are seeing with in a complex presentation in this tissue with a number of pathologies including drusen, pigmented bone spicules and geographic atrophy. This retina will be one of the first examined for some of these diseases.