The future of curing blindness: Using the eye’s ability to rewire itself to find new cures.

Please join us on Monday, April 1, 2019 (no joke!) at 7:00pm for a discussion led by Dr. Anahit Hovhannisyan.

Blindness is one of the most common Neurodegenerative Disorders that affects over 21 million adults in United States.  It has been very challenging to find a cure, because the visual system is very complex and poorly understood.  Yet there is also hope, because the visual system is also very plastic, meaning that the nerves of the visual system can rewire to recover from damage. Scientists are working on combining a wide range of different approaches (genetic studies, physical and biological experiments) to answer one question: How can we treat blindness so that patients not only recover the basic ability to recognize objects, but also see the whole colorful and detailed beauty of life surrounding us?

Dr. Hovhannisyan is a biophysicist with a PhD from Tübingen University, Germany.  She has worked as a researcher at University of California Santa Cruz and Stanford University and she is currently a lecturer and researcher at California State University.  She looks for cures for blindness by better understanding this co-called plasticity, that is she studies the mechanisms that allow the visual system to rewire itself. She studies the eyes of mice, squirrel and rabbits as models for human eyes, building a foundation for developing techniques that implant photoreceptors in damaged retina and for increasing the efficiency of genetic treatment.

Who: Dr. Anahit Hovhannisyan

When: April 1, 2019 at 7PM

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N Maroa Ave., Fresno, CA 93704