Faculty Profile: Seiler, Magdalene

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Seiler, Magdalene
Lab Contact:
Magdalene Seiler
Department: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
1101 Gross Hall

Research Description

There is currently no effective treatment for blinding diseases such as dry age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Both these diseases are characterized by a deficiency in photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium. Therefore, our lab has pioneered a unique method to transplant fetal retinal progenitor sheets together with its supporting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to replace the deficient retinal layers. The resulting surgical intervention and transplantation has been shown to improve vision in animal models of retinal degeneration as well as in patients with retinal degeneration. However, ethical considerations and the limited supply of fetal retinal tissue prevent this from being a feasible treatment. Recently, several laboratories have shown that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can “self-assembly” into early stages of eye development and develop into structures resembling retinal epithelia. To circumvent the limitations of fetal retinal tissue, our lab has generated 3-D constructs of retinal progenitor tissue from hESCs. In order to examine the effectiveness of the hESC-derived tissue as a treatment we will use an immunodeficient rat model of retinal degeneration. This rat model will allow for the integration of the transplanted hESC tissue without transplant rejection while concurrently permitting observation of the transplant integration in a model of retinal degeneration. The hypothesis of the proposed project is that hESC-derived retinal tissue can restore visual responses after transplantation into the immunodeficient rat model of retinal degeneration. Transplants will be followed by optical coherence imaging. Visual responses following implantation will be evaluated using optokinetic testing, electroretinograms, and superior colliculus electrophysiology. This project will ultimately help to restore vision in patients suffering from retinal diseases.

Requirements to Participate

Course syllabus: https://scout.eee.uci.edu/files/3026/Seiler%20Bio199%20course%20retinal%20repair%2012-24-15.pdf

Time Commitment per Week

3 - 4 hours per unit. 1 year Commitment. Minimum 3 units.

Faculty Means of Evaluation

Attendance: 20Pts (working assigned hours, being on time) Lab Work: 40Pts (quality, accuracy, integrated.synthesis of information and safety) Communication: 20Pts (Written/Oral reports, questions and discussion with mentor) Lab citizenship: 20Pts (organization, clean up and follow through) Total: 100 points.