Institute for Ophthalmic Research

Institut für Augenheilkunde

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Topic 1: Pathomechanisms and Risk Factors

Researchers at the FIA investigate pathomechanisms and risk factors for eye diseases. Understanding the events that underlie eye diseases and characterizing the factors that influence disease outcome open new entry points for therapies. Research at the FIA is set up to identify hereditary risk factors, to understand how gene variants and environmental parameters cause pathologies , to build quantitative models for normal and diseased eye physiology, to validate models and to predict disease progression and therapeutic efficiency.

Topic 2: Multimodal diagnostics for personalized medicine

Researchers at the FIA work for better and new diagnostics of eye diseases. Ophthalmologists need powerful diagnostics to monitor disease progression and to choose the right therapy. Patients need diagnostics to make decisions that impact their personal lives. Research at the FIA aims to expand diagnostics into molecular parameters and into new ways of life imaging. Potential new diagnostic modalities are first devised in animal models and then adapted to diagnostics in patients.

Topic 3: Innovative Therapies

The third research theme of the FIA is translational research. Laboratories at the FIA focus on therapies in three areas, neuroprotection, gene therapy and prosthetics. For neuroprotection, laboratories use animal models to test different factors and different forms of delivery for their respective efficiency. For gene therapy, the FIA takes the successful gene delivery for RPE65 patients conducted in the US and the UK as goalposts to develop gene delivery for other forms of retinal degeneration in Tuebingen. For prosthetics, the FIA pursued the idea of a chip fulfilling retinal function after retinal degeneration by converting light signals into electrical signals for the brain. This research grew into two generations of retinal implants that have already benefited patients and will be refined further.