Shaomei Wang, MD, PhD
I graduated from Medical University in China, obtained PhD in UK. Saving sight has been the focus for my research. Our laboratory has a long history of applying stem cell therapy for retinal degenerative diseases. We have performed several preclinical studies that have led to the first few clinical trials using stem cells for the treatment of AMD. Our years' preclinical study in collaboration with Dr. Clive Svendsen has led to clinical trial using neural progenitor cells for treating retinitis pigmentosa. In current proposal, we will deliver neural progenitor cells engineered to express GDNF-hNPC-GDNF, developed by our collaborator Dr. Svendsen close to the optic nerve head, the site of disease in a rodent model for glaucoma. We will determine whether this new approach will protect retinal ganglion cells and vision. The hNPC-GDNF have shown neuroprotection in multiple animal models for neurological diseases, have shown safety profile in recently completely clinical trial for ALS. if positive results come out from this study, this will enable us to apply translational grant from California Institute Regenerative Medicine for large scale study.