Robert S. Molday

Canada Research Chair in Vision and Macular Degeneration

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2015-04-01
The University of British Columbia
Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research involves

Studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

Research relevance

This research may lead to new treatments for retinal degenerative diseases, the leading cause of vision loss in Canada.

Shining a Light on Retinal Degenerative Diseases

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Your ability to see something begins when light entering the eye is captured by photoreceptor cells in the retina and is converted into electrical signals. These signals are sent to your brain, which creates an image telling you what you are seeing. Visual impairment occurs when there are defects in the genes that are needed for these photoreceptor cells to survive.</p>
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This type of vision problem, generally known as inherited retinal degenerative disease, affects more than 13 million North Americans, and is a leading cause of vision loss. As Canada Research Chair in Vision and Macular Degeneration, Dr. Robert Molday is trying to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for macular degeneration, a subset of retinal degenerative diseases.</p>
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Individuals with macular degeneration can&rsquo;t see well enough to perform everyday tasks like reading, writing, and driving, which greatly diminishes their quality of life. The disease affects people of all ages, but is most common among the elderly.</p>
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Molday and his research team have already identified many key genes and proteins crucial for photoreceptor structure, function and survival. They are using this information to develop novel treatments that can slow, or even prevent, vision loss in people with retinal degenerative diseases, including macular degeneration.</p>
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Molday&rsquo;s research is improving our understanding of how genetic defects cause photoreceptor degeneration and vision loss. In the future, this will allow scientists to develop better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat vision loss in those with retinal degenerative diseases.&nbsp;</p>