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Laboratory for Visual Science
Using a combination of clinical and basic scientific approaches, our laboratory investigates intractable eye diseases that threaten vision. Our goal is to define the pathogenesis and molecular mechanism underlying eye diseases as well as to develop novel diagnostic techniques and therapy using the methodologies of biochemistry, electrophysiology, molecular biology and regenerative cell biology.
In our previous research, we proposed that patients undergo novel surgery for retinopathy of prematurity, which has facilitated good visual outcomes. Histopathological investigation by our laboratory has clarified the origin and differentiation of eye tissues during embryogenesis, and the pathogenesis of a variety of congenital anomalies. Our laboratory has identified numerous gene mutations, including PAX6 and ‘eyes absent’, in a variety of congenital eye anomalies. Functional in vitro and in vivo analysis has clarified the molecular mechanism of eye morphogenesis and determined the visual system.
In a world-first, our laboratory generated self-induced retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with functional axons from human induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells, which facilitate in vitro assays using human disease-specific cells. The ability to generate RGCs with functional axons uniformly and at a high rate may contribute to both basic and clinical science, including embryology, neurology, pathognomy, and will advance medicine and drug development for various optic nerve diseases that threaten vision.