Newswise — Rockville, Md.—The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) congratulates Magdalena Renner, MD, recipient of the 2022 Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Research in Retina. The award recognizes an early-career investigator who has made a novel discovery that impacted the understanding and/or treatment of a retinal disease or condition.
Renner leads the Human Organoid Platform at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Basel, Switzerland. Together with her team she is optimizing the culture of retinal organoids as a model for the human retina and retinal disease. She is particularly interested in enabling the mass production of retinal organoids and other cell types of the human eye to facilitate high-content compound screening and testing of novel gene therapy tools.
Renner is also the recipient of the Swiss OphthAWARD Best Experimental Work (2021), the PRO RETINA award of RETINA Suisse and PRO RETINA Germany (2021) and won the 1st place of the VSY Biotechnology Ophthalmology Star Award (2021).
Recipients of the Bert M. Glaser, MD Award must demonstrate their work has led to the development of a new drug or technique that will revolutionize retina care. Renner and her team have developed a method to generate thousands of artificial human retinas (retinal organoids) from human pluripotent stem cells. "We compared retinal organoids to post-mortem human retina and analyzed their cell type-diversity, morphology, light-responses and gene-expression," says Renner. "Importantly, we analyzed which cell types express known disease genes in both human retina and retinal organoids which validates retinal organoids as a promising new model to study retinal disease."
Funded by the Glaser family through the ARVO Foundation, the $10,000 award is named in memory of Bert M. Glaser, MD, a long-time retina researcher, surgeon, innovator and teacher whose life was cut short in 2017 after a brief illness. Read more about Bert M. Glaser.
“I am very proud and honored to receive this award in honor of Bert M. Glaser,” says Renner. “Being selected is a great motivation to keep on innovating and making retinal organoids an even better model system for the human retina. I sincerely hope that by using a human model system to study retinal degeneration and develop new treatments, these treatments can be translated efficiently into therapies that help patients with visual diseases.”
For more information about the Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Research in Retina, visit ARVO’s website.
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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at ARVO.org.
Established in 2001, the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research raises funds through partnerships, grants and sponsorships to support ARVO’s world-class education and career development resources for eye and vision researchers of all stages of career and education. Learn more at ARVOFoundation.org.