Optogenetics Club Lecture

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december, 2022

202212dec5:00 PM6:00 PMVirtual EventOptogenetics Club LectureCone-targeted optogenetics for vision restoration - Translation to the clinic5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Speaker:Bence György, MD, PhD, IOB Basel

Event Details

Bence György, MD, PhD from the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) will talk about “Cone-targeted optogenetics for vision restoration – Translation to the clinic”

A large number of inherited retinal diseases (also called retinal dystrophies) are characterized by a mutation in a single gene that leads to dysfunction and/or degeneration of the light sensitive photoreceptors in the retina, the rods and cones. Optogenetics can make cells light-sensitive via genetically expressed, microbial light-activated proteins. In certain cases of retinal dystrophies, cone photoreceptors lose their natural ability to sense light, however they remain alive in a dormant stage and can be potentially re-activated with optogenetics. We initiated a worldwide, multicenter cross-sectional ocular imaging study (EyeConic, NCT05294978) to quantify the presence of dormant cone photoreceptors in patients with low vision due to generalized retinal dystrophies. We have found that ~45% of patients have normal foveal volumes suggesting that these patients would be ideal candidates for cone-based optogenetic vision restoration strategy. Furthermore, we have developed an adeno-associated vector-based approach to deliver an optogenetic effector into human cone photoreceptors. The approach was entirely optimized and tested in human systems, such as human retinal organoids and human retinal explants. Based on our preclinical experiments and clinical data, cone-based optogenetics might offer significant vision restoration in blind patients.

Chairs: Tobias Moser and Thomas Mager

Poster of the talk: