NEW YORK – May 14, 2019 /Press Release/ ––
Mount Sinai School of Medicine researcher Milo Smith, PhD, has received a Career-Starter Research Grant for 2017-2018 from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.
Dr. Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow in the labs of Dr. Hirofumi Morishita MD PhD and Dr. Joel Dudley at the Friedman Brain Institute and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was awarded the grant for his work entitled, "Establishing a high-throughput screen to discover drug candidates to treat Amblyopia". The grant of $65,000 was given to Dr. Smith on May 14th.
"Our goal is to develop and apply an in vitro model of critical period circuitry as a high-throughout screen for drug modulators of plasticity" said Dr. Smith. "We will leverage new understanding of the cell-type specific high-throughput mouse primary culture screen to identify drugs that putatively enhance cortical plasticity".
A 'lazy eye' or monocular cataract early in life results in an enduring loss of visual acuity (amblyopia) reflecting aberrant circuit remodeling within the primary visual cortex. Amblyopia affects two to four percent of the human population and exhibits little recovery in adulthood. Successful therapies for Amblyopia are therefore contingent on understanding the mechanism of adult brain plasticity.
If successful, the proposed project will identify small molecules with ability to rescue Amblyopia through cell-type specific mechanisms, as well as set the stage to scale our approach to screen 1000s of drugs for their ability to treat Amblyopia.
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation supports research that can help launch the careers of clinical or basic researchers committed to the prevention and cure of potentially blinding diseases in infants and children. They support clinical or basic research on conditions that can or may eventually be treated or prevented.