Studying Glaucoma with Stem Cells Derived from Patients

Jason S Meyer, PhD
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN, United States)
Year Awarded:
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July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015
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US Midwestern

Recipient of the Thomas R. Lee award for National Glaucoma Research

Patient-Specific Stem Cells for Studies of Glaucoma


Dr. Meyer and colleagues are developing stem cells from individual patients with glaucoma that can be used to develop the cell types that are lost due to this disease. The researchers are using these cells to study specific features of glaucoma and obtain ideas to develop future patient-specific retina cell replacement therapies.


Dr. Meyer and colleagues will obtain stem cells from patients with glaucoma in order to study the disease on a cellular level. They aim to genetically reprogram adult cells such as skin cells from each patient so as to develop a unique type of stem cell known as "induced pluripotent stem cells" or "iPS” cells. These cells become “unspecified,” that is, they can be guided to develop into any cell type of the body, including those eye cells that are affected by glaucoma. To identify inherited factors underlying this disease, these iPS cells will be established from patients with a genetic predisposition to developing glaucoma. The researchers will also use the iPS cells to screen new glaucoma drugs.

Once this study is complete, it is foreseeable that Meyer and colleagues will have established a new system using patient-specific cells that can be used for future pharmacological developments.

About the Researcher

Jason S. Meyer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and is an adjunct assistant professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics as well as a member of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN. Meyer received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, and his doctoral degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, and was later promoted to the rank of assistant scientist, where he studied the ability of human pluripotent stem cells to develop into retinal progenitor cells and adopt a retinal fate. In August of 2010, Meyer established an independent research program at IUPUI focused upon the mechanisms underlying the specification and maturation of individual cell types of the retina, with a particular focus upon retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors. Additionally, Meyer's research group is interested in the ability to study features of retinal disease through the use of patient-specific stem cells.


Sridhar A, Steward MM, Meyer JS. Nonxenogeneic growth and retinal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2013 Apr;2(4):255-64. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2012-0101. Epub 2013 Mar 19. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon

Zhong X, Gutierrez C, Xue T, Hampton C, Vergara MN, Cao LH, Peters A, Park TS, Zambidis ET, Meyer JS, Gamm DM, Yau KW, Canto-Soler MV. Generation of three-dimensional retinal tissue with functional photoreceptors from human iPSCs. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 10;5:4047. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5047. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon