The doctor who fights vision loss and wildfires

Dennis Clegg, UC Santa Barbara researcher

Doctor Dennis Clegg, a researcher and scientist at UC Santa Barbara, is fascinated by the eye. He thinks it’s one of the most beautiful objects in nature and wonders how something as complex and elegant developed and is able to connect with our brains to make vision possible. That’s why he has spent his career trying to understand that question and develop answers, to help reverse vision loss and blindness in people.

The good news is that Dennis and his colleagues have made encouraging progress in answering some of those questions. In one early-stage CIRM-funded clinical trial they were able to reverse the effects of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly.

So we sat down with Dennis to talk about his research, his love of dogs (he has six!) and his work as a volunteer firefighter. That’s all in the latest episode of our podcast, ‘Talking ‘Bout (re)Generation’.

Enjoy the show.

6 thoughts on “The doctor who fights vision loss and wildfires

  1. Are there any clinical trials/research for stem cells for retinas? I lost vision and have some light perception after post-surgery cataract infection.

    • Hi Kathy, I’m sorry to hear about your loss of vision. The only clinical trials I know for retinas are for very specific diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. It’s possible that if these work to help repair cells damaged by disease they may also help others, but right now I don’t know of a specific trial that would be appropriate for you.

    • Opregen by Lineage Cell Therapeutics (LCTX) has shown to regenerate retina cells. Stay tuned for upcoming phase III trial conducted by Genentech. The trial is for GA dry age macular degeneration, but other applications may be included.

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