Vision and Ocular Diseases | Vision Research at PCOM
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Seeing Clearly

Vision research at PCOM.

Vision and Ocular Diseases 
Vision Research at PCOM

Vision is a complex phenomenon involving transmittance of detailed information about the world around us to the retina of the eye and integration centers in the brain. A translucent lens is required for light to reach the retina with fidelity.

What is Vision Research?

Millions of people are visually impaired due to cataracts and retinal degeneration. A team of investigators is developing approaches to preventing vision loss by deciphering mechanisms leading to dysfunction and developing approaches to maintaining the clarity of the lens and function of the retina.

First-year medical student Mara Crispin (DO '25) is first author of a research article that concludes Myo/Nog cells differentiate into myofibroblasts that contract and produce retinal folds and detachment. If not repaired immediately, the damaged vision cells lead to blindness.

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First Year Med Student Jumps Into Vision Research portrait

Christopher Setura (DO '24) began vision research with Drs. George-Weinstein and Bravo-Nuevo while pursuing his biological sciences degree at Drexel University. Now a med student at PCOM, he studies the benefits of introducing exogenous Myo/Nog cells to the eyes of mice that have retinopathy of prematurity, which is the most common cause of blindness in human children.

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Student Chris Sutera Describes His Research into Myo/Nog Cells and Blindness in Children portrait

In her time as a student at PCOM, Lindsay Gugerty, DO, explored the emerging roles of Myo/Nog cells in wound healing. Under the guidance of PCOM research staff, she explored the cells' ability to ingest or phagocytose foreign material and dead cells in the skin and eyes. This could lead to methods for preventing chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease.

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Student Research Spotlight: Lindsay Gugerty portrait

After discovering Myo/Nog cells more than 30 years ago, Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, and Jacquelyn Gerhart, MS, continue to research these important vision cells. In a published paper, their research team found eliminating Myo/Nog cells in lenses undergoing cataract surgery significantly reduced the severity of a vision-impairing disease in animal models.

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Study Suggests Potential Treatment for Cataract Complication portrait

Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.