Killifish: A Novel Model of AMD
MentorRyan MacDonald, PhD University College London
This project aims to determine the biological processes underlying aging retinal disease and identify therapeutic targets by utilising killifish, a naturally occurring model of AMD.
Killifish retinas will be characterised for AMD-like pathologies throughout their lifespan, including rate of vision loss, deposit accumulation, immune cell activation and translocation, and photoreceptor cell death mechanism. Age-related disease will be exacerbated or alleviated by transgene introduction, genome editing, and/or pharmaceutical treatment.
There are few accurate models of AMD currently, which makes studying mechanisms underlying AMD pathology and identifying therapeutics exceedingly difficult. The killifish is an emerging model of accelerated aging that naturally undergoes age-associated retinal degeneration, and therefore provides the unique opportunity to study how retinal diseases of aging develop and can be prevented.
Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in our aging population. There are currently no effective treatments for dry/atrophic AMD, the most common type of AMD, due to a poor understanding of the cellular causes and pathophysiology. This work will determine the biological processes underlying age-related photoreceptor degeneration and identify therapeutics through the killifish model.