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New Stanford center will advance vision research

Excellent news broke this morning: Stanford University will be establishing a new vision research center to develop therapies to prevent the loss of vision and to restore sight.

Established with a gift from Mary Spencer, it will be called the Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Center for Vision Research, named in honor of her late husband, Sash. Spencer, who suffers from macular degeneration, said she was inspired, in part, by Jeffrey Goldberg's work using nanoparticles to help restore eye function. Goldberg, MD, PhD, has led the Department of Ophthalmology since 2015.

A press release captured reactions from Stanford Medicine leaders:

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, said, 'We are optimistic that with the establishment of this new center, significant advances in vision science will be translated into improved patient care, transforming the lives of millions suffering from eye disease the world over.' ...

[Goldberg said:] 'Many diseases of the eye still lack clear and effective methods of prevention, treatment or cure. Although much research is underway, bridging the chasm from the lab to clinical testing and ultimately to proven therapies remains the core challenge to making real progress.

Our goal for this new center is to bring together teams of interdisciplinary experts in genetics, imaging, stem cell and neurobiology with leaders in vision science. By harnessing the combined talents and energy available at Stanford and beyond, we can uncover novel therapies and bring them more rapidly to human trials — to real patients — so that others can benefit in the nearer term.'

The center will be located at the Byers Eye Institute.

Previously: Stanford scientists describe stem-cell and gene-therapy advances in scientific symposium, Successful replacement of eye cells hints at future glaucoma treatment and Thousands of queries, added funds fuel pushoff from successful Stanford vision-restoration study
Photo courtesy of Mary Spencer

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