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The goal of the research program in the Edith J. Crawley Vision Research Center is to decipher the molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenesis and to develop novel treatment regimens for curing ocular disease.
The Center focuses on research that will help bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside. Animal models are used to study various aspects of human congenital and acquired disease including corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, dry eye disease, immune dysfunction, bacterial keratitis and wound healing.
Researchers are trying to determine the etiology of these diseases and are developing novel treatment regimens for regenerative medicine using state of the art technology such as stem cells and somatic genome editing. These include the use of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells, which have been shown to have promising therapeutic potential. These cells exert their therapeutic efficacy by modulating the immune response and differentiating into specific cell types to restore function. This is one area being studied by several researchers in the Department. Additionally, genomic editing using the CRISPR technique is being employed in an attempt to treat various lysosomal storage diseases.
Collectively, the ongoing research in the Department will discover new insights into ocular disease and treatment regimens to treat these diseases.
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