Dr. David Hyde and his team have been awarded over $1.9 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead one of six projects planned to identify biological factors that influence neural regeneration in the retina.
The projects are part of the National Eye Institute (NEI) Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI), a targeted effort to restore vision by regenerating neurons and their connections in the eye and visual system. These six projects will receive a total of $12.4 million over three years, pending availability of funds.
“Understanding factors that mediate the regeneration of neurons and the growth of axons is crucial for the development of breakthrough therapies for blinding diseases. What we learn through these projects will have a health impact beyond vision,” said Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the NEI, part of NIH.
“The National Eye Institute’s Audacious Goals Initiative is to regenerate neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system to restore sight to individuals who are blind. This Audacious Goals grant award is very important for two reasons,” said Dr. Hyde. “First, it is based on regenerating the neurons from adult stem cells that are already present in the eye. This approach will reveal that in many ways, adult stem cells are potentially more powerful to regenerate neurons in an organism than embryonic stem cells. Second, by Notre Dame being the lead institution on this grant, it demonstrates that our scientific expertise, in certain research areas, rivals the top medical schools in the country. This award will bring increased visibility to Notre Dame, the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, and our commitment, for scientific and ethical reasons, to pursue the research and application of adult stem cells over embryonic stem cells to treat debilitating neurological diseases.” Read More