NORTH TEXAS EYE RESEARCH INSTITUTE HOSTS VISION RESEARCHER

May 14, 2001

FORT WORTH, Texasâ??The North Texas Eye Research Institute at the University of North Texas Health Science Center is presenting its first Distinguished Scientist in Vision seminar May 31.

E. Helene Sage, Ph.D., director of vascular biology at Seattleâ??s Hope Heart Institute, will present an overview of her work at an afternoon seminar. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m., Thursday, May 31 in the Education and Administration Building on the UNT Health Science Center campus.

“Weâ??ve established this new seminar to share some of the exciting work that is being done in vision research across the country with the medical professionals and scientists here in North Texas,” said Patrick Cammarata, Ph.D., director of the North Texas Eye Research Institute.

Dr. Sage currently studies the regulation of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, as well as the response of connective tissue cells to injury. She has spent several years focusing on the matricellular protein SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) and its role as a critical regulator of vascular morphogenesis. SPARC acts as an adaptor molecule between the cell surface and connective tissue/extracellular matrix components. It regulates cell proliferation, cell-matrix interaction, and other aspects of morphogenesis, tissue response to injury, and tumor growth and metastasis.

Her vision research results from examining the numerous physical effects of a lack of SPARC. She has found that, in the eye, a SPARC deficiency in mice consistently leads to defective lenses and cataractogenisis.

A magna cum laude graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Dr. Sage received her doctoral degree from the University of Utah. Her postdoctoral training focused on cell biology and biochemistry at the University of Washington, in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Bornstein. She has been a faculty member at the University of Washington since 1980.

The Distinguished Scientist in Vision was created as a forum to bring leading eye researchers to Fort Worth to share their work with the local health and science community. Alcon Laboratories, Inc. is helping to underwrite the event, and Dr. Sage will visit Alconâ??s facilities June 1 as part of her visit to Fort Worth.

For more information, please call Dr. Cammarata at the North Texas Eye Research Institute at 817-735-2039 or 735-2045.

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North Texas Eye Research Institute

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