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Topic: Developing an alternative to cataract surgery: pitfalls, progress, and new directions
Abstract: Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. By age 80, over half of Americans will have experienced cataracts. Despite its prevalence, the only cure for this debilitating disease is surgical replacement of the cloudy natural lens with an artificial lens implant. This procedure is considered to be safe and effective, but it has several major problems. Cost and risk of complications are two of the most obvious, but the removal of the natural lens may have serious long-term consequences: it puts surrounding tissues at higher risk of developing other degenerative disorders. A safe, effective, easy-to-administer eye drop treatment would represent a much more favorable alternative to surgery. However, we face some serious obstacles to developing such a treatment. Which drugs can be effective against cataracts? How do we make sure they reach their site of action? How can we determine which candidates are most effective? This talk will discuss our recent progress on all of these fronts, and our future directions toward our goal of noninvasive, affordable cataract treatment.
Brief Biography of Presenter: Annalise Pfaff grew up in St. Louis. She enrolled at Missouri S&T as an undergraduate and is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Nuran Ercal’s research group. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Missouri S&T last year. Her research interests include redox biology, solvent suppression in NMR spectroscopy, and improving STEM education.
Date: Wednesday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Location: Public House Brewing Company’s Rolla Brewpub Loft
Hosted by Graduate Student Leadership Council & Public House Brewing Company