Gene-therapy, the technique of inserting genes into cells to treat disease, holds promise for many areas of medicine. For Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and cell biology in the School of Medicine, and Sean Ainsworth, founder of RetroSense Therapeutics LLC, the breakthrough therapy means restoring vision to millions of people suffering with incurable blindness. Pan, along with colleagues at Salus University, has developed a novel gene-therapy approach for treating blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP)--disorders that are currently incurable. The treatment delivers a photoreceptor gene from blue-green algae, which converts previously non-photosensitive retinal cells to photosensitive cells. The result is restored light responses in the retina.
"Retrieving Sight: WSU Spinoff, RetroSense, Aims to Use Algae Gene to Aid Blind,"
1, Article 18.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/newscience/vol19/iss1/18