Marcelo Nociari, PhD
Dr. Marcelo Nociari is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Dyson Research Institute at Cornell University. He earned a BA in chemistry, a BS in biochemistry and a PhD in immunology from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). During his postdoctoral training at Cornell University Medical College, he acquired extensive experience in the immunobiology of aging, chronic inflammatory diseases and innate immunity. As a postdoctoral associate and later as a young faculty member, he identified a central innate immune cascade involved in the activation of adaptive immune response against adenoviral vectors used in gene therapy. For the past six years, Dr. Nociari and Dr. Boulan (co-principal investigator on this BrightFocus project) worked together to develop a treatment against dry AMD and other lipofuscin-driven retinal disorders. They currently are pursuing two complementary pharmacological approaches: (i) developing drugs capable of removing lipofuscin from RPE (BrightFocus award 2013-15); (ii) targeting lipofuscin-elicited damaging cascades to prevent chronic inflammation and RPE cell death (BrightFocus award 2016-18). Dr. Nociari uses animal models, cell culture, and biochemical approaches to study from different perspectives the impact that lipofuscin accumulation has in retinal disease. In addition to the BrightFocus awards, Dr. Nociari has received a number of grants from NIH.