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Macular Degeneration
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The Hanneken Lab

Research

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Our retinal and macular degeneration research program is focused on developing innovative treatments to improve vision in patients with macular diseases.  Using clinical insights gathered from our patients, we are pursing novel ideas and using unique approaches to improve the function of the cells that support the chemistry of vision, the rod and cone photoreceptors.  Photoreceptor cell damage is most common in patients diagnosed with macular degeneration, retinal detachments and inherited retinal disorders. We are pursing innovative ideas for treatments that can improve the function of the photoreceptor cells and the chemistry of the visual transduction cascade. 

With a unique multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, computational chemists, cell biologists and biochemists, we are using advanced computer modeling technology to design drugs that will enhance the light sensitivity of the visual pigments in the rod and cone photoreceptor cells.  This approach has the potential to improve visual function at night, as well as during the day, in patients with low vision. 

Another project is focused on preserving the long-term health of the retinal pigment epithelial cells that support the chemistry of vision.  Previous research in our laboratory has already identified compounds that can protect cells from the type of injury that is thought to contribute to macular degeneration.

Our research program has uncovered several new avenues for discovery. With regular updates to this website, we will keep our audience aware of new developments in our laboratory and opportunities for supporting our work.  Together, we will work toward the common goal of improving vision in the setting of macular diseases.