U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Laser Research
||Fort Sam Houston, TX 782346315
|Wang, Heuy-Ching H.
||210 539 9692
The mechanisms of the modern warfare have led to an increase of ocular injuries. It is very important to sustain Soldier vision on modern battlefield and restore vision when injury occurs. The principal objective of our research program is to develop and evaluate treatments for ocular trauma. The research focus areas for therapeutic interventions are (1) stem cell therapies to repair and regenerate ocular tissues and (2) neuroprotection to enhance the survivability of ocular tissues.
Retinal impairment by neuronal death has been considered incurable due to the limited regenerative capacity of the central nervous system. The capacity of stem cells to regenerate tissues, as well as their plasticity makes them a potential source for retinal repair. Our research focuses on adult stem cells, particularly mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and integrating both basic and applied research programs. Research projects include (1) development of methods to derive stem cells to retinal progenitors and retinal pigment epithelium, (2) transplantation of stem cells, (3) in vivo/in vitro tracking of stem cells, and(4) studying the efficacy of stem cell transplantation in vivo by ophthalmic imaging techniques and electrophysiology. The methods and techniques used in these studies include stem cell isolation, cell culture and expansion of stem cells, quantitative real-time PCR, flow cytometry, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, ophthalmic imaging techniques (fundus imaging, SD-OCT and SLO), and ERG.
We also provide the opportunity to study the molecular responses to ocular trauma including laser-induced retinal injury and blast-induced ocular trauma. By understanding the tissue responses on the molecular level, we hope to develop novel approaches to provide neuroprotection for ocular trauma.
Wang, HC, et al: Vision Research 50 (7): 665, 2010