Eye-opener: Japanese doctor’s work with iPS cells puts macular degeneration on notice

Science has Dr. Masayo Takahashi’s mother to thank, in a way, for some of the most notable developments in regenerative medicine using stem cells.

More than 35 years ago when Takahashi was contemplating which career she would pursue once she graduated from high school in Osaka, it was her mother who stepped in to offer firm guidance.

“I didn’t want to be a doctor at all, but my mother told me I should join the medical department,” Takahashi, 57, says with a laugh.

The old adage that mothers know best rings true in this instance: Takahashi studied medicine at Kyoto University and went on to specialize in ophthalmology, a branch of medicine that treats eye disorders.

For her spearheading work in treating eye issue and sicknesses Takahashi was the debut beneficiary of the $150,000 Ogawa-Yamanaka Stem Cell Prize in 2015 from the Gladstone Institutes for her “trailblazing research.” The earlier year, Nature, a British science diary, included Takahashi in its yearly rundown of the 10 individuals who made a difference in science.

For as far back as 25 years Takahashi’s exploration has centered around utilizing undifferentiated organisms to treat eye maladies and clutters.

In 2014, a group driven by Takahashi and her associates at the Riken Institute’s middle for organic improvement in Kobe stood out as truly newsworthy when, in a world-first, they effectively transplanted cells from incited pluripotent undifferentiated cells, or iPS cells, onto a patient’s eye.

Dr. Paul Knoepfler, a biomedical researcher and undifferentiated cell master who heads the Knoepfler Lab at U.C. Davis School of Medicine in California, portrayed Takahashi’s work as offering a diagram for others in the regenerative prescription field.

“The utilization of IPS cells to make retinal cells gives genuine plan to macular degeneration, an illness for which generally there isn’t much that specialists can accomplish for patients,” Knoepfler wrote in an email.

Takahashi’s examination focuses on how immature microorganisms can be utilized to treat retinal ailments, for example, age-related macular degeneration, which causes overcast and hazy vision and influences everything, including our capacity to peruse, drive and perceive faces.