UTMB Health Center for Biomedical Engineering

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Center

The AMD Center at UTMB Health Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences aims to advance the translation of basic science into clinical practice and ultimately to improve the quality of life for AMD patients.

Led by Bernard Godley, MD, PhD and Eric van Kuijk, MD, PhD, this research group has established collaboration and contacts with major AMD centers worldwide.

Objectives of this multidisciplinary research and education program:

  • Focus on the health care priorities for the aging population since AMD is the major cause of blindness in the elderly (10 million people have reduced vision due to age-related macular degeneration in the U.S.; 1.7 million of the 34 million Americans over age 65 have vision impairment due to AMD)
  • Receive government and industrial support for continued research
  • Help align research across UTMB departments as well as other University of Texas institutions
  • Conduct multidisciplinary research spanning aging, cell biology, neuroanatomy, ophthalmology, pharmacology and clinical trials
  • Provide graduate training programs for vision scientists and ophthalmologists

Areas of focus:

  • In vitro, ex vivo and in vivo imaging of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium
  • The role of macular pigment in AMD (mechanistic, predictive and therapeutic)
  • Analysis of mitochondrial dysfunction at the structural and DNA levels in the aging retina and AMD patients
  • The structure and toxicity of lipofuscin and melanosomes
  • Protein misfolding and mitochondrial dysfunction in AMD
  • DNA damage and repair in retinal cells
  • The mechanisms for chronic light damage in the aging retina and AMD
  • The role of oxidative stress in retinal damage and AMD
  • The importance of antioxidants in the treatment of AMD manipulation of pro- and anti-angiogenic factors in the regulation of choroidal neovascularization and retinal repair
  • Clinical trials
  • Teaching graduate students aspects of the vision sciences both directly and by e-learning

 

 

 

Research: Vision-saving Breakthroughs

UTMB Health Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is striving for the discovery of new, innovative approaches to diagnose and treat eye diseases. With a research lab, clinical trials center and two eye centers, it offers the perfect research environment to translate new discoveries to improved patient care.