Steady Advances in Vision Science Research

SriniVas Sadda, MD
President & Chief Scientific Officer
August 2020

Like nearly everyone and every system around the globe, improvising in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Doheny Eye Institute is continually making adjustments and accommodations. In this environment of constant improvisation, I am reminded that resistance to disruption relies on consistency in vision.

At Doheny, that means we have not wavered in our mission and our fundamental goals: we are working to eradicate vision limiting disease, and we are doing that every day. Over the past few months I’ve communicated in this column about how patients are being served in our clinics, and that continues to expand. In coming months, I plan to use this space to keep you apprised of how our labs and faculty continue to work, safely, as well.

Let me share one example. Kaustabh Ghosh, PhD, a recent addition to the Doheny-UCLA faculty, came to us as a distinguished interdisciplinary researcher with projects in bioengineering and nanomedicine. His work is focused on understanding subtle alterations that occur in capillaries in early eye disease. For patients with either diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, this breakthrough research may be game changing.

The gradual stiffening of the blood vessels eventually leads to more severe disease and diminished vision; and using atomic force microscopy to observe changes at a tiny scale, Dr. Ghosh can detect and track how capillaries alter both behavior and function over time. These data are critical, because early stage detection can point us towards treatments that may arrest or eliminate disease progress.

This research, and so much more, continues at Doheny, despite the additional protocols and precautions to keep our faculty, staff, and lab spaces safe. We are investing resources and time in following all of the CDC guidelines, and we are moving forward.

What has not been interrupted in this time of unpredictability and challenge is the excellence of our faculty and staff, their dedication to the work of vision science, and our precious connections to colleagues around the world, with whom we collaborate in so many ways, now more than ever in calls and virtual meetings.

Understanding what we can accomplish, comes into sharper focus when we face complications. Some of our patients live that reality daily, and we can authentically empathize as our daily routines and work habits prompt us to rise to the challenges, and learn more about what we can achieve and how.

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