November 17, 2021, 16:18 GMT —
Choroideremia Research Foundation extends funding of research of Dr. Abigail Fahim, MD, PhD on the impact of RPE proteins on choroids.
Dr. Fahim is doing important work and already making progress in the ultimate search for treat or a cure for choroideremia”
— Neal Bench, CRF board president
SPRINGFIELD, MA, UNITED STATES /EINPresswire.com/ — The Choroideremia Research Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce its continued funding of a critical scientific research study to understand the complex causes of choroideremia, a hereditary retinal-degenerative disease that causes blindness. Dr. Abigail Fahim, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Medicine, will build on progress made over the past 12 months studying proteins within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
Dr. Fahim’s original proposal project (2020), Investigating Choroideremia Pathophysiology using iPSC-derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium, successfully established a system to investigate protein transport in choroideremia RPE using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Dr. Fahim’s team used these cells to make RPE cells affected with choroideremia and found that the choroideremia RPE cells have increased secretion of several proteins, some of which are known to damage blood vessel cells and may therefore contribute to loss of the choroid in choroideremia.
In the next phase of research, Dr. Fahim’s investigative team aims to 1) establish that loss of Rab13 prenylation leads to stringent tight junctions and altered protein secretion in choroideremia RPE cells and 2) investigate how RPE secreted proteins impact choroidal survival in choroideremia. Her long-term goal is to understand the physiologic role of the RPE in maintaining choroidal health.
“Dr. Fahim is doing important work and already making progress in the ultimate search for treat or a cure for choroideremia,” said Neal Bench, CRF board president. “We are thrilled to continue our support with partnership with Choroideremia Research Foundation Canada.”
For more information about all research studies the CRF supports, please visit curechm.org/research/