Exchanging knowledge about retina research
In the middle of Hesse, we have the compilation of four different research groups working in the retina field. The first city, Gießen, is host to the Experimental Ophthalmology of Knut Stieger at the Justus-Liebig-University. They focus on retinal gene therapy, the treatment of neovascular retinal diseases as well as the development of animal models. Next, there is also Heidrun Deißler and her team in the Eye Clinic, who are working on retinal vascular diseases. Moving on to the second city, Marburg, here are two groups of the Philipps-University located. In the valley of the Lahn is Moritz Lindner’s Lab, which is working on retinal physiology and gene therapy. And on the hills of the Lahn, there is our Lab at the university hospital.
Due to this geographic benefit and in the best interests of science, we are regularly getting together to exchange newest results. This time, our meeting took place in the beautiful Institute for Physiology of the Philipps-Universität Marburg. One member of each group gave a talk to give insights into their projects. We started with Juliane Schikora’s talk about the correlation of the morphology and functionality of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) with complement activation. We then carried on with a talk of Heidrun Deißler called the "VEGF-A165-induced persistent impairment of the retinal endothelial cells’ barrier only transiently depends on the growth factors’ action". After a short coffee break, Nermina Xhaferri presented her work on the role of Kv7.4 in KCNV2-associated retinopathy. The last talk was given by Brigitte Müller together with Annika Konrad about the “Transplantation of hiPSC derived RPE cells cultured on nanofibrous membranes into immunosuppressed minipigs”.
All talks were followed by interesting questions, inspiring discussions and exchange of knowledge. Afterwards, Moritz showed us his lab and we learned that there is even a research animal facility located in the Physiology building. In the end, we ordered some delicious pizza to celebrate the meeting. All in all, we were able to gain insight into four completely different projects in the same big research field of the retina. It’s nice to know that there are other research groups nearby that are working in the same field but have their own unique expertise. We are already looking forward to the next meeting!