The Lady Davis Institute and the

McGill University-Génome Québec Innovation Centre


A McGill Distinguished Lecture in Human Genetics

Stem cell therapy for retinal degeneration: a vision for the future

Speaker: Robin R. Ali, PhD

Professor of Human Molecular Genetics

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital

Monday, January 27, 2014

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Palmer Amphitheatre

McIntyre Medical Building

Robin AliRetinal degenerations leading to loss of photoreceptors are a major cause of untreatable blindness. Inherited retinal dystrophies affect 1 in 3,000 of the population, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects 1 in 10 people over 60 yrs. Currently no treatments restore lost photoreceptor cells and visual function and thus there is a need for new therapeutic approaches. We have previously discovered that transplantation of photoreceptor precursor cells at a specific stage of development results in their integration into the adult retina (MacLaren et al Nature 2006) and improves vision in mice with visual deficits (Pearson et al. Nature 2012). We recently shown for the for time, effective transplantation of mouse embryonic stem cell derived photoreceptors (Gonzales-Cordero et al, Nature Biotech, 2013), and are now developing human embryonic stem cell therapy for the treatment of retinal disorders.

Host: Dr. Rod McInnes:

Info: Maya Zaremba:

December 23, 2013