Basic Eye Research
Basic eye research bridges the gap from bench to bedside.
Basic eye research, also known as fundamental eye research, seeks to increase the understanding of the essential properties of the eye and the visual system. These basic properties underlie all clinical vision research, including vision clinical trials. Ultimately, the goal of our work is to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical application, facilitating a “bench to bedside” translation of basic eye research findings to meet patients’ care needs. In this way, our basic eye research projects help to broaden our knowledge of core scientific areas – ultimately complementing and strengthening all vision research efforts and promoting better patient care.
Retinal disease processes
Currently, all of our basic research activities are geared to address clinically relevant questions, particularly in retinal disease processes. The primary interest of our basic eye research lab is the study of retinal disease processes (including molecular mechanisms) and identifying new treatment strategies to disrupt pathogenic processes. Our main focus has been on retinal disease processes for two retinal diseases, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). For both of these conditions, our research is particularly focused on the disease processes involved in:
- The regulation of retinal angiogenesis
- Retinal inflammation
- Retinal oxidative stress
We use different approaches ranging from in vitro cell culture to dissect each individual component to in vivo animal models.
A collaborative approach
Just as basic eye research complements clinical vision research, our basic eye research team collaborates with investigators in other Henry Ford departments as well as in other institutions. This provides a multidisciplinary approach that facilitates advances in all vision research. These basic eye research collaboration projects include:
- Kresge Eye Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine: Determining whether a commonly used diabetic drug protects retinal vascular endothelial cells in diabetic retinopathy
- Indiana University School of Medicine: Characterizing the function of a critical molecule, APE1, in the retina, and examining the effect of APE1 redox inhibitor as a novel treatment for AMD and DR
- Henry Ford Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery: Examining the effect of APE1 redox inhibitor in neurorestorative therapy for stroke in diabetes
Advanced treatment for eye disease
The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology has extensive experience in the treatment of all eye diseases, regardless of their complexity. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it. Our patients have access to advanced diagnostic tests and treatment and, if eligible, related clinical trials.