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Visual Research Project

Development of Therapeutic Strategies for Visual Impairment using Neuroprotection and Optic Nerve Regeneration

Project Leader Takayuki Harada

Project Leader
Takayuki Harada

Takayuki Harada has been the head of the Visual Research Project since 2011 and a visiting professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Tokushima University since 2013. He obtained his MD from Hokkaido University School of Medicine in 1992 and worked as a long-term fellow of the Human Frontier Foundation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2001, and as a molecular neuroscientist at the Medical Research Institute of Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 2002, before becoming the director of the Molecular Neurobiology Research Division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Neuroscience in 2004.

Backgrounds

More than 1.6 million people in Japan are visually impaired, representing economic social losses estimated at more than 8 trillion yen. In the particular context of the increased penetration of Western lifestyles and an aging society, the increase in the number of patients with conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which could be called “adult eye diseases,” has become a major social issue.

To achieve improved quality of life (QOL) for the visually impaired in an increasingly aging population, this study seeks to elucidate detailed pathogenic mechanism and develop new therapies through the development of a model of intractable eye disease.

Objectives

  • To develop a neuroprotective retinal therapy using an animal disease models
  • To elucidate the mechanisms involved in the onset of optic neuritis
  • To establish a method to promote regeneration of the optic nerve

Members

Project Leader Takayuki Harada

  • Kazuhiko Namekata
  • Guo Xiaoli