Eye’s recycling process key to seeing color, bright light

The retina’s rods and cones allow us to see. But although scientists have an idea of what makes rods perform and flourish, they’ve been somewhat in the dark regarding what keeps cones working and thriving. Now, School of Medicine researchers led by Thomas A. Ferguson, PhD, believe they’re closer to the answer and that their findings may one day help preserve vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

New clues found to vision loss in macular degeneration​​​

Scientists have identified a pathway that leads to the formation of atypical blood vessels that can cause blindness in people with age-related macular degeneration. The research, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, sheds light on one of the leading causes of blindness in industrialized countries and offers potential targets for treating the disease.

Eye’s motion detection sensors identified

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a neural circuit in the retina that carries signals enabling the eye to detect movement. The finding could help in efforts to build artificial retinas for people who have suffered vision loss.

The human eye can see ‘invisible’ infrared light

Science textbooks say we can’t see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are longer than the light waves in the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers co-led by Frans Vinberg, PhD, (left) and Vladimir J. Kefalov, PhD, has found that under certain conditions, the retina can sense infrared light after all.

Washington People: Todd Margolis

Although he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to go to medical school, ophthalmologist Todd P. Margolis, MD, PhD, now heads the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. And he’s pioneering a phone app that could revolutionize the way people are screened for particular eye diseases.

Apte receives young investigator award

Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, is the first recipient of the Presidents’ Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Glaucoma drug helps restore vision loss linked to obesity

Vision researchers from 38 clinical sites, including the School of Medicine, have found that the eyesight of patients with an unusual vision disorder linked to obesity improves twice as much if they take a glaucoma drug and lose a modest amount of weight than if they only lose weight. Neuro-ophthalmologist Gregory Van Stavern, MD, led the study in St. Louis.

Margolis named Wolff Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology

Todd P. Margolis, MD, PhD, head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has been named the new Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology. Margolis (right) is shown with Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
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