Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2012
Mentor: Rafael Ufret-Vincenty, MD
Room number: E7.239
Mail Code: 9057
Phone number: 214-648-3770
Project title: Can phosphatidylserine be a therapeutic target in neovascular AMD?
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): APN 2011-0026
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects) Animal-based research in a model of human disease.
Brief Description of Project:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 55 years of age in the western world. Animal models of AMD lead to changes on electron microscopy (EM) that are essential as an outcome measure. However, most of the changes occur only in small interspersed areas of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium. To determine if a variable (e.g. oxidative stress induction, or therapeutic intervention) has an effect on the model of AMD, it is imperative to develop a quantitative or semi-quantitative method of analysis for EM parameters like basal laminar deposits. The current methods are suboptimal, as they are based on the selection of small “representative” areas of the specimen for detailed analysis. We propose to develop a method of analysis that would take into consideration the whole electron microscopy specimen. Two potential methods will be explored: 1. Software-based image analysis, and 2. Semi-quantitative manual method of analysis. The two methods will be compared in terms of reproducibility and time-efficiency.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students: