The Importance of Donor Resources: Gregory S. Hageman, PhD

The executive director of the Steele Center for Translational Medicine at the Moran Eye Center discussed the 8,000 donated eye repository that aided his research in AMD.

“I realized... we really needed the freshest tissue possible. Now, we have a 4- or 5-hour time point for those eyes to actually be harvested and processed by the lab. We have a team of about 7 people now that are on call 24/7, we take any donation, whether it's AMD or not, it's important that you not turn anybody down in this in this process.”

HTRA1 is currently under investigation in multiple studies as a therapeutic target to mitigate the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Despite these programs, which focus on downregulation, recent research from the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah has elucidated HTRA1’s protective effect on the development of AMD and another important gene in AMD, ARMS2.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Brandi. L Williams, PhD, research director, and Gregory S. Hageman, PhD, executive director, Steele Center for Translational Medicine, both from the John A. Moran Eye Center, to learn more about their research into the roles of HTRA1 and ARMS2. Williams also discussed the eye repository he developed at the Moran Eye Center, its role in the research, and the importance of such a resource in eye research.

Williams BL, Seager NA, Gardiner JD, et al. Chromosome 10q26–driven age-related macular degeneration is associated with reduced levels of HTRA1 in human retinal pigment epithelium. PNAS. 2021;118(30) e2103617118. doi:10.1073/pnas.2103617118
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