Our research is focused on multidisciplinary clinical trials, basic science and translational medicine aimed at the development of novel treatments and diagnostic tools for neuro-retinal & brain degeneration:
• Novel treatments for neuroretinal degeneration
• The immune system in retinal degeneration
• Posterior segment drug delivery
• Objective chromatic pupilloperimetry
• The eye as a window to the brain
• Deep learning for retinal biomarkers
• Repetitive magnetic stimulation for treatment of dry eye
Prof. Ygal Rotenstreich, MD is the Head of the Electrophysiology Clinic at the Goldschleger Eye Institute, Sheba Medical Center. He is a specialist in general Ophthalmology and cataract surgery, and a subspecialist in Retina. He is the Director of the Retinal Research Laboratory at the Goldschleger Eye Institute at Sheba Medical Center, and an Associate Professor at The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. He is the founder of two Israeli start-up companies (Epitceh Mag. Ltd and Everards Therapy Ltd). He is a member at the Sheba Patent Committee and served as the Chair elect of ARVO Ethics and Regulations in Human Research Committee.
Facing the unmet need of objective assessment of visual field, we developed novel objective perimetry method & device based on pupillary responses to chromatic light stimuli individually presented at different targets of the visual field. We recently published the first studies demonstrating objective identification of visual field defects and differential diagnosis of the specific visual pathways involved (i.e. rods, cones and ipRGCs) in glaucoma, retinal and macular degeneration patients. This system is predicted to enables objective early detection of disease progression and may serve as sensitive outcome measure of therapeutic effects in clinical trials. In addition, we are currently studying the feasibility of using the chromatic multifocal pupillometry for objective assessment of brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease.
Retinal degeneration diseases affect millions of patients worldwide and are the leading cause for blindness in the industrial world. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited retinal degeneration, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affect the photoreceptors directly or the adjacent supporting retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells.
We developed a novel cell delivery method for transplantation of stem cells into the extravascular spaces of the choroid. Cells are transplanted throughout this compartment covering over 80% of the subretinal area. Our studies suggest that transplanting bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a thin near-homogenous layer resulted in long term rescue of retinal function and significantly delays photoreceptor degeneration throughout the retina.