Stopping a disabling eye disease
What if you couldn’t see well enough to drive, read or cook, or even recognize the face of your child or best friend?
That happens to many people who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). About 15 million Americans have the disease, according to the American Society of Retina Specialists.
AMD is the No. 1 reason for central vision loss and blindness in people past age 65, and there’s no cure.
But there’s hope on the horizon. A researcher at UNT Health Science Center is looking for a way to prevent or slow AMD.
“Seeing is basic to life, like hearing or breathing,” said Hongli (Catherine) Wu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Science.
AMD is caused by damage to an eye structure called the macula. It’s the retina’s most sensitive area and makes sharp vision possible. In AMD, protein deposits thicken the macula and make it less sensitive.
Dr. Wu’s research is finding enzymes that show promise in slowing or stopping these proteins’ formation in the eye. Her work is supported by a $160,000 grant from the BrightFocus Foundation.
“As our population ages, eye disorders become more prominent, and the demand for new treatments increases,” said Dr. Wu, who also is an award-winning teacher the UNT System College of Pharmacy at UNTHSC.
The next step would be to find a medication to deliver the enzymes to the right place in the eye.
Said Dr. Wu, “My research team which includes my collaborators, Iok-Hou Pang, Pharmaceutical Science Chair; and Sai Chavala, MD, Surgery Professor, has obtained promising data and is one step closer to finding a cure.”
By Sally Crocker Three nationally known alcohol and substance abuse researchers -- Dr. Melissa A. Lewis, Dr. Dana M. Litt and Dr. Eun-Young Mun – have been appointed to the UNTHSC School of Public Health faculty, underlining the school’s intent to become a national center of excellence in...Read more
Jan 22, 2018
By Jan Jarvis Forty-six UNT Health Science Center physicians have been recognized as Top Doctors, as selected by their peers for listings in Texas Monthly, Fort Worth Magazine and 360 West. Three UNTHSC physicians from Geriatrics have been recognized as Super Doctors by Texas Monthly...Read more
Jan 18, 2018
By Jan Jarvis As someone who enjoys a good meal, Molly Chang was eager to sample the different dishes that are cooked each week in the Culinary Medicine course. “I love trying out recipes and eating new foods, so cooking with friends and getting a free meal is right up my alley,”...Read more
Jan 17, 2018
By Alex Branch A 2015 School of Health Professions graduate will help put injured Miami Marlins baseball players back on the playing field this summer. Steve Carlin PT, DPT, will treat players throughout the organization as the rehabilitation coordinator at the Marlins spring training faci...Read more
Jan 9, 2018