Ocular Neurodegeneration

Neurodegeneration des Auges

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Research topics

Our mission is to uncover the pathophysiology of ocular neurodegenerative processes, to develop and test therapeutic strategies and to understand and model normal retinal function. In the field of Neurodegeneration Research, we investigate the causes of and the disease mechanisms in retinal degenerations, and relate the findings in human patients to those in animal models with homologous genetic defects.

Also, we examine animal models generated by groups worldwide for their relevance in this regard. In Systems Biology, we assess functional pathways, particularly in the outer retina, by means of mouse lines with specific genetic defects in photoreceptor function and/or connectivity, as many aspects of normal retinal function are still unclear. Cross-breeding of such lines enables us to investigate isolated pathways, to obtain new insights about their nature, and to model their behaviour.

A further fascinating area is Molecular Therapy, as recent advances in therapeutic research (particularly gene therapy) have led to collaborations with many leading groups on the evaluation of therapy in affected models. Our main fields are the evaluation of the therapeutic success by short- and long-term follow-up in vivo, research on optimal application and quality control procedures, and the development of optimized biomarkers.