NeuroDevNet stem cell researchers Drs. Janet Rossant and Derek van der Kooy teach old cells young tricks

May 9, 2013

The University of Toronto has recently posted a video featuring Dr. van der Kooy, speaking on his research involving the use of retinal stem cells to treat the blind. Instead of disposing of eyes that were donated for corneal transplants after the corneas were removed, they are now given to Dr. van der Kooy and his colleagues who then isolate retinal stem cells from the donated tissue.

Dr. van der Kooy says “the hope in the short term is to take those retinal stem cells isolated from the human eye, turn them into one of the cell types that are missing in many blind people and transplant those cells back into blind people and see if we can give them their vision back.”

Currently, Dr. van der Kooy’s research involves a mouse model, where photoreceptor cells are transplanted into blind mice. Initially, there has only been a small improvement in their vision.

Watch the video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/eYUUf-ejbp8