Professor Keith Martin
Neuroprotection and repair of the visual system
Laboratory Location: Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair
Glaucoma is the commonest cause of irreversible blindness in the world. The condition involves progressive death of retinal ganglion cells in the eye resulting in irreversible visual loss. Recent evidence suggests that neuronal death in glaucoma shares mechanisms with other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Thus, advances in our understanding of glaucoma may have implications for other brain diseases and vice versa.
An important goal of our group is to understand better the mechanisms of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death in glaucoma, to develop methods to protect RGC thus slowing the progression of glaucomatous visual loss, and ultimately to restore vision in those blind due to the disease. We have novel models of glaucoma that have proven to be very useful in the investigation of glaucoma pathogenesis. These models allows RGC death to be studied both during the period of increased IOP and after IOP has fallen back to normal levels. Using these models, we have demonstrated potentially important changes in retinal glutamate transporters occuring as a specific response to elevated intraocular pressure, suggesting a new target for glaucoma therapy in the future.
Current stem cell projects
- Stem cells as a potential treatment for glaucoma
- Improving RPE cell transplantation by modulation of integrins
- Role of activated retinal glia in survival and regeneration of retinal neurons