News & Media

September 06, 2012

Stem Cell Center Professor Steve Fisher and colleagues Geoff Lewis and Gabe Luna have joined forces with UCI Ophthalmologist Henry Klassen to develop a stem cell therapy for Retinis Pigmentosa. Dr. Klassen is Principal Investigator on a new $17.3M “disease team” grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. In addition to UCSB, collaborators include Cedars Sinai and UC Davis. This project will be the second CIRM disease team effort that includes UCSB, both focused on ocular disease.

August 02, 2012

Scientists in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Weimbs have demonstrated that a new drug is effective in treating a very common genetic disease, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Over 600,000 people in the U.S., and 12 million worldwide, are affected by PKD, a disease that is characterized by the proliferation of thousands of cysts that eventually debilitate the kidneys, causing kidney failure in half of all patients by the time they reach age 50. The is currently no available treatment for this disease. In collaboration with the Indiana-based biopharmaceutical company Endocyte, Dr. Weimbs’ laboratory developed and tested a new compound called folate-conjugated rapamycin that targets to the kidneys and slows renal cyst growth in a PKD mouse model. Dr. Weimbs is also interested in stem cell-based treatments for kidney disease.

March 05, 2012

Pete Coffey traveled to Buckingham Palace on February 19 to collect the the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, which was awarded to the University College Institute of Ophthalmology. The Institute was recognized as “one of the foremost and most influential eye and vision research institutes in the world, enjoying an outstanding reputation for excellence in furthering understanding of the eye and visual system and its related disorders and diseases.” The Award was presented by Her Majesty The Queen, with His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the UK’s highest form of national recognition open to UK academic or vocational institutions.

February 24, 2012

Stem Cell Center researchers Monte Radeke, Linc Johnson and co-workers identified genes whose expression levels can identify people with AMD, as well as genes that distinguish clinical AMD subtypes. The findings, which appear in BioMed Central’s journal Genome Medicine, could offer new candidate targets for the development of AMD diagnostics and therapies.

January 30, 2012

Stem Cell Center researcher and MCDB graduate student Roxanne Croze earned the top poster award at a meeting of the Beckman Initiative for Macular Research at UC Irvine. Roxanne’s poster, entitled “Monitoring stem cell transplants in ocular disease: The RPE Christmas tree”, reported her recent work in Dennis Clegg’s lab. Lyndsay Leach and Monte Radeke were also authors on the poster. Through a generous grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Beckman Initiative for Macular Research (BIMR) brings together outstanding scientists, engineers, medical researchers, and clinicians — all focused on a common goal: developing a better understanding of atrophic macular degeneration.