The UA researches how to recover vision with photosensitive proteins from microorganisms
The project, led by Dr. Nicolas Cuenca, has been allocated with research funding from FUNDALUCE (foundation for fighting blindness)
Alicante, 17 October 2014
With the aim of fighting against a wide range of blindness diseases, a project using optogenetics revival as a therapeutic option in retinal degenerations, led by University of Alicante’s Dr. Nicolás Cuenca, received research funding from the FUNDALUCE.
Many diseases affect retinal photoreceptor cells by producing a gradual loss of vision and sometimes even blindness. The work, conducted by researchers at the UA research group on visual system neurobiology and neurodegenerative diseases therapy, led by Nicolás Cuenca, would allow the recovery of vision with the use of a type of light-sensitive proteins from microorganisms. They work on the generation of new photosensitive retinal cells that replace damaged photoreceptors in blind individuals, Cuenca explained.
The project on using optogenetics revival as a therapeutic option in retinal degenerations is at an experimental stage with very positive results in animals, and hopefully, in the near future, it can be applied to humans, as stated by the UA researcher.
Currently, Dr. Cuenca is working on OPTOREMODE (E-RARE), a European project on optogenetics and rare diseases, in collaboration with institutions from France, Germany and Canada.
The award ceremony will take place on Friday, 24 October in Madrid, at the 16th Research Conference of the Spain Federation for Retinitis Pigmentosa (FARPE) and FUNDALUCE.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness organises this public competition to provide a two-year €24,000,000 funding for research projects on possible specific therapeutic strategies in the field of retinitis pigmentosa.
The 16 research projects submitting in this edition have been assessed by the National Assessment and Planning Agency (ANEP and FUNDALUCE FARPE Advisory Committee.
Caption: Nicolás Cuenca at a UA laboratory.
Universidad de Alicante Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante (Spain)