Leading eye research charity Fight for Sight has awarded almost £1
million for research into the prevention and treatment retinal disease as part
of the latest round of research grants.
Every year the charity awards grants for original and ground-breaking
research into the causes of sight loss at universities and hospitals across the
UK. The new grants will support researchers based at the UCL Institute of Child
Health, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the University of Birmingham, Queen
Mary, University of London and the University of Liverpool.
The grants include funding the following research at the ICH:
Repairing damage caused by
The death of rod and cone photoreceptor cells caused by retinal diseases
such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa is the
leading cause of sight loss in the developed world. Photoreceptor cells help us to see by
capturing light and converting it into electrical impulses to be transmitted to
the brain where it is interpreted as images.
Dr Jane Sowden from the UCL Institute of Child Health, working with
Professor Robin Ali at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, has previously shown
that immature rod photoreceptor cells can be effectively transplanted in mice.
However, attempts to replace cone photoreceptor cells have been less
Dr Sowden and Professor Ali now plan to use methods from their previous
work for the transplantation of cone photoreceptor cells. It is hoped this
research will enable the replacement of damaged cells and potentially restore
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