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Adult stem cell treatments for corneal endothelial diseases

60 months
Approved budget:
Dr Jie Zhang
Professor Charles McGhee ONZM
Professor Dipika Patel
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Corneal endothelial dysfunction results in loss of vision, for which corneal transplantation is the definitive treatment. Due to limited supply of donor tissue, alternatives are required. This project aims to determine the potential of Transition Zone cells, adult stem cells for the corneal endothelium, to be developed into treatments for corneal endothelial diseases. Their differentiation into endothelial cells will be driven and their efficacy in an animal model will be tested. If successful, the normally discarded residual tissue from corneal transplantation can be used to supply cells for many recipients, greatly improving the efficacy and timeliness of treatment for the visual impaired and blind due to corneal endothelial diseases.