By Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD
    Annual Meeting 2013
    Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous

    Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, principal investigator at the Moran Eye Center’s Retinal Angiogenesis Laboratory, summarizes a new study on the underlying causes of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Her research identified specific cells that overproduce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and used a rat model to develop lentiviral mRNA for the regulation of VEGF production. Dr Hartnett proposes the use of gene delivery to suppress rather than block VEGF, which is essential to early development of the retina and multiple organs but, when overproduced, can lead to blindness in premature infants.