The aim of our research is to develop a new treatment for retinal degeneration using a type of RNA called silencer RNA.
We are currently experiencing a new and exciting era in medicine where RNA therapies are becoming increasingly powerful. This is thanks, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has helped to speed up the development of these treatments for complex diseases, including those that affect the eyes such as retinal degeneration.
The aim of our research is to develop a new treatment for retinal degeneration using a type of RNA called silencer RNA. We are specifically targeting a protein called CEBPD, which is known to play a key role in inflammation in the retina. Inflammation is a major factor in the death of nerve cells in the retina, which is a major cause of vision loss in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
We believe that targeting CEBPD is a promising therapeutic because CEBPD is responsible for the activation of hundreds molecular players that drive inflammation. By targeting CEBPD, we are targeting the root of inflammation in the retina, which can help to slow down nerve cell loss and preserve vision for those affected by retinal degenerations.
This project is expected to contribute to the development of successful therapies for atrophic AMD which require supressing neuroinflammation by:
- developing a unique method of tackling neuroinflammation by using CEBPD siRNAs and other pharmacological CEBPD inhibitors;
- and generating pre-clinical data using a retinal degeneration model developed by CID Natoli2 that recapitulates key AMD facets including neuroinflammation and progressive focal photoreceptor cell death.
Dr Adrian Cioanca
John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra
Dr Riccardo Natoli, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra
Dr Michelle Madigan Save Sight Institute, Sydney
Dr Elisa Cornish, University of Sydney
1 Year 2023