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Ophthalmology: Retina Research

The Retina Research Laboratories represent a collective group of research facilities and scientists headed by Alistair Barber, PhD. The group, an interdisciplinary team of scientists with expertise in Ophthalmology, Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neuroscience, aims to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to vision impairment in diabetes and to generate novel treatments to cure diabetic retinopathy.

Normal vision requires all the cells in the retina to work together properly. Our approach to understanding how the retina malfunctions in diabetes is based on our observation that the normal interactions between the three main cellular components – neurons, glial cells and tiny capillaries (vessels) – are disturbed.

We believe that diabetes changes cellular interactions in a variety of ways, including altered blood-retinal barrier (BRB) induction, modified neurotransmitter (Glu) recycling, diminished metabolic support for neurons by glia, as well as leaking tight junctions (TJ).

A cure for diabetic retinopathy relies on an ability to understand the multiple facets of the disease.