Stopping a disabling eye disease

July 17, 2015

Hongli-Wu-WEB

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.”

Oneil Fc
Study: Private hospital rooms lower risk of infections

By Sally Crocker Private hospital rooms may save lives by reducing the risk of a dangerous type of hospital-acquired infection, according to UNT Health Science Center researchers in a new study published in PLOS ONE. Liam O’Neill, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Sy...Read more

Aug 14, 2018

Roundup Fc
A healthy start to the school year

By Eric Parker   Life is hectic for parents in demanding, low-wage jobs. Peace of mind depends on easily accessible, free health services like those provided by the UNT Health Science Center at Thursday’s Back to School Roundup. One such parent is Erica Salinas. Her son, 8-year-old L...Read more

Aug 10, 2018

Ireb Fc
Move-in day approaching for new campus building

By Eric Parker   Move-in day is coming for the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building (IREB). The target date is Oct. 22. The five-story, 173,000-square-foot building will house and support the UNT System College of Pharmacy, the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, and the No...Read more

Aug 9, 2018

Roundup Fc
Sending kids back to school healthy

By Betsy Friauf   This month, hundreds of thousands of Tarrant County children head back to school. And UNT Health Science Center volunteers are pitching in to help make sure they have the necessary health screenings and school supplies. For children whose families lack resources, UNTH...Read more

Aug 8, 2018