Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics opens in Pennsylvania

Date Posted: 10/31/2014

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania recently opened the Penn Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT), an interdisciplinary center for visual impairment research that will unite experts from different fields and promote advocacy for patients.

Since 2007, Penn researchers, working closely with investigators at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), have used gene therapy to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA). In such gene therapy, a new, healthy version of the gene that causes LCA, RPE65, is implanted in the retina. In the initial study conducted by Penn and CHOP, vision improvements were documented in all 12 patients. It is hoped that the CAROT center will allow the university to build on its previous succeses in developing novel therapies for the personalized diagnosis and treatment of retinal and ocular disorders and advance therapies and cures for visual impairments through a focus on integration and partnership with others in the field of ophthalmology, neuroscience, cell biology, and genetics. Jean Bennett, director of CAROT and the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, explained the intended purpose of CAROT:

We believe the momentum we have established will allow us to develop an internationally recognized Center and become the premier center in the U.S. for the personalized diagnosis and treatment of retinal and ocular conditions. A program like this unites all necessary approaches to researching and treating retinal and ocular disorders. An important premise of CAROT is to make the technologies that effectively advance research and therapies for the visually impaired and blind available to physicians, scientists, and patients.

For more information, contact: F.M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology, Stellar-Chance Labs 309 & 807, 422 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104; website: www.med.upenn.edu/carot.

Contact: Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics

URL: http://www.med.upenn.edu/carot/

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