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CFC Researchers to Pursue Four Working Hypotheses

Research from the Catalyst For a Cure has led to four working hypotheses, or themes, which the team of investigators intends to aggressively pursue:

  1. Focus on establishing key progressive events in Retinal Ganglion Cell (RGC) degeneration by linking axon damage to related events in the back of the eye;
  2. Expand work on intrinsic RGC responses to identify critical genetic modifiers and chemical reactions, both protective and damaging;
  3. Use novel research tools to identify and understand how microglial modulation affects RGC survival;
  4. Test the role of Astrocyte-RGC interactions in the optic nerve head in glaucoma progression.

The Catalyst For a Cure researchers seek to establish that their ideas extend beyond the current experimental model of glaucoma by testing their hypotheses in new models and identifying potential biomarkers of disease progression.

Principal Research Approaches of the Catalyst For a Cure

The four hypotheses will each be tested through these research approaches developed by the team:

  1. Understand the fundamental mechanism of neurodegeneration in glaucoma;
  2. Conduct interventional studies and target validation to test the implications of these mechanisms;
  3. Develop the necessary tools and models to pursue the research.

These approaches underscore the complex nature of glaucoma, and how multiple interacting factors may ultimately lead to vision loss from the disease. By understanding the factors that drive retinal ganglion cell decline, these scientists are targeting the most critical steps in glaucoma pathology.

The current three-year phase of Catalyst For a Cure (2011-2013) will be an exciting culmination of various creative research insights that will help us to understand, diagnose, and treat glaucoma.

Last reviewed on December 22, 2011

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