CFS Latest News

Julie receives PhD studentship funding from Fight for Sight

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Fight for Sight Logo

Professor Julie Daniels has received funding for a PhD studentship to start in October from the Fight for Sight charity, which funds ocular research. The PhD project will aim to address the issue of blindness as a result of scarring. Scarring in the cornea can occur from injury or from a specific disease mechanism. It is estimated that 10 million people in the world are blind due to corneal scarring. By using adult corneal stem cells and tissue engineering techniques, a corneal tissue equivalent can be generated and the hope is that this can be used to replace the part of the cornea that is damaged due to scarring. 

Cells for Sight team prepare for ARVO

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Orange County Convention Center

We are all getting ready to head off to the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting which this year will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Julie, Hannah, Marc and Victoria will be talking at the conference and Isobel, Victoria, Louise, Amanda and Nuria will be presenting posters. Watch out for the next update for talk and presentation titles. Hopefully see you there! 

Hannah and Victoria raise £115 for Aniridia Network UK

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Cakes ready to be sold!

Hannah and Victoria held a cake sale today to raise money for the support group Aniridia Network UK. There were contributions from others in the department as well as the cakes Hannah and Victoria made and a total of £115 was collected which will be donated to Aniridia Network UK. Not only did it raise money but it helped a lot of people out with their Monday Blues. Many thanks to those involved! 

Cornea Connect 2014

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Attendees of Cornea Connect 2014


The first ever Cornea Connect meeting was a huge success with great feedback about the day from both the patients and the scientists.

Marc Dziasko has his paper published in PLoS ONE

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Marc's paper entitled "Localisation of epithelial cells capable of holoclone formation in vitro and direct interaction with stromal cells in the native human limbal crypt" is published in PLoS ONE Apr 8;9(4):e94283. Congratulations Marc! 

Alex has his paper published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine

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Alex's paper entitled 'Three-year outcomes of cultured limbal epithelial allografts in aniridia and stevens-johnson syndrome evaluated using the clinical outcome assessment in surgical trial assessment tool' was published in the February 2013 edition of Stem Cells and Translational Medicine. Congratulations Alex!

Hannah has her paper published in Biomaterials

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Hannah's paper entitled 'Rapid tissue engineering of biomimetic human corneal limbal crypts with 3D niche architecture' was published in Biomaterials, November 2013 edition. Congratulations Hannah!

Cells for Sight team attend the 6th Limbal Stem Cell Forum in Liverpool

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Group Photo at Limbal Stem Cell Forum

The Cells for Sight team go north for a trip to Liverpool to attend the 6th Limbal Stem Cell Forum. Pictured above are the attendees for the September 2013 meeting.

Hannah and Marc present at the Vision of Excellence Congress in Berlin

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Hannah and Marc both gave paper presentations at the Vision of Excellence Congress, Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft in Berlin in September 2013.

Julie, Louise, Alex and Steve visit Japan

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Julie, Louise and Alex visit Japan

In June 2013 Julie, Louise, Alex and steve visited our collaborators Professor Shigeru Kinoshita and Dr Takahiro Nakamura at the Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan. We are working in collaboration together to develop novel treatments for blinding ocular surface diseases. 

Alvena and Isobel visit Istanbul to attend TERMIS

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The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Alvena and Isobel braved Istanbul to attend this years TERMIS conference where they both gave paper presentations.

Marc attends the ISSCR annual conference

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ISSCR Conference 2013

Marc attended the ISSCR meeting last month where he presented his poster entitled 'High-resolution microscopy reveals cellular cross-talk in the limbal stem cell niche'

Hannah and Victoria attend Aniridia Network UK Conference

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Hannah, Victoria and James Buller at ANUK

Hannah and Victoria attended the Aniridia Network UK conference in order to meet the members of the network and gain input and ideas to help plan the Cornea Connect event. It was the first time they had met people with Aniridia, and found the event informative and inspirational.  

Marc Dziasko successfully upgrades from MPhil to PhD

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Marc Dziasko

Marc gave his upgrade presentation entitled "Interaction between limbal stromal cells and epithelial stem cells in the corneal niche to maintain human corneal epithelium" at our department lab meeting. This was followed by his viva with Mr Steve Tuft and Dr Clare Futter. Congratulations Marc!

CfS awarded UCL Beacon Bursary to host public engagement event

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Cornea Connect Logo

Congratulations to Victoria Tovell and Hannah Levis for being awarded a UCL Beacon Bursary to fund a public engagement event. They plan to start a 2 way dialogue between patient groups and researchers which will begin with a one day event hosted by the members of the CfS Research and Transplantation team. We hope this will be the start of a continued collaboration between researchers and patients. Watch this space for more details on Cornea Connect! 

Aniridia Europe Meeting, Italy 2012

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Aniridia Europe Scientific Committee 2012

Julie has joined the Scientific Advisory Committee for Aniridia Europe. The Committee is comprised of five leading aniridia clinicians and scientists from different EU countries. Their first meeting was held at the Venice Eye Bank in Mestre, Italy in November 2012. The Scientific Committee is planning a joint research strategy in collaboration with patient groups, some of whom also attended the meeting. The event was very productive and gave time for the researchers to understand the concerns and hopes of those with aniridia. The next Aniridia Europe Conference will be held in Venice in 2014.

New Endothelial RAFT article published in PLOS ONE available online now

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The PLOS one article entitled "Plastic Compressed Collagen as a Novel Carrier for Expanded Human Corneal Endothelial Cells for Transplantation" authored by Hannah J. Levis, Gary S. L. Peh, Kah-Peng Toh, Rebekah Poh, Alex J. Shortt, Rosemary A. L. Drake, Jodhbir S. Mehta, Julie T. Daniels is now available for download on the PLOS ONE website. This is the result of a collaboration between members of the CfS team, members of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore and TAP Biosystems in Royston, UK. We hope to continue this very successful collaboration in the future. 

CfS Christmas Lunch

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Xmas lunch 2012

On Monday we had a (very early!) CfS Christmas lunch at the Eagle with Secret Santa too. Everyone seemed very happy with their lovely presents- especially Amanda with her history book and Marc looked very fetching in his drinking straw glasses (pic below!). Then the brave (or tone deaf as it turned out) ventured to Karaoke and managed to sing their hearts out for a few hours! There are some incriminating videos but what goes on at Karaoke, stays at Karaoke, you'll probably be pleased to hear! 

CfS do Movember!

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Movember

Marc Dziasko, Michael Neale and Alex Shortt raised a brilliant £626 for Movember by growing some fabulous mo's! To show support the rest of CfS joined in at a lab meeting on the last day of november. Pretty hard to talk serious science when we all look like that!! Check out their Movember page at MODOCS_ST_GEORGES

We welcome a new member of CfS- Louise Morgan

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Louise Morgan

Welcome to Louise Morgan, who joined the Cells for Sight team this week. Louise will be working on the proof of concept RAFT study along with Lois Evans. 

Amanda Vernon successfully upgrades from MPhil to PhD

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Amanda Vernon presented her upgrade talk entitled "Optimisation of ex vivo culture methods for limbal epithelial cells" and after a viva with Mr Steve Tuft and Dr. Vivek Mudera, successfully completed the upgrade process. Congratulations Amanda! 

Levis et al. manuscript accepted for publication in PLOS ONE

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Hannah J. Levis, Gary S.L. Peh, Kah-Peng Toh, Rebekah Poh, Alex J. Shortt, Rosemary A.L. Drake, Jodhbir S. Mehta and Julie T. Daniels had their manuscript entitled 'Plastic compressed collagen as a novel carrier for expanded human corneal endothelial cells for transplantation' accepted for publication in PLOS ONE today. We hope to continue this successful collaboration with members of the Singapore Eye Research Institute and TAP Biosystems. 

Sarah and Alvena present at London Matrix Group

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Sarah Dale and Alvena Kureshi presented at the London Matrix Group which brings together scientists from different London colleges interested in matrix biology. It was the 15th Anniversary Meeting on Growth Factor Regulation & Pathology to Cytomechanics. Sarah's presentation was entitled "Identifying profibrotic targets promoting the scarring in ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid" and Alvena presented "An in vitro model to measure and demonstrate load-induced collagen matrix growth". 

Alvena visits Prof. Funderburgh's lab in Pittsburgh

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Alvena Kureshi has recently returned from a very fruitful visit to the laboratory of our collaborator, Prof Jim Funderburgh in the University of Pittsburgh. We are excited that this collaboration brings together our shared interests in furthering our understanding of the behavior of corneal stromal stem cells.  We are currently investigating their potential use in the development of engineered corneal stromal equivalents.

Recent Publications from CFS

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Two manuscripts available online Epub ahead of print have recently been published by members of CFS.

Wnt signalling in an in vitro niche model for conjunctival progenitor cells

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