Chicago, IL —Angela Li, a second year Stanford medical student working in the Mahajan lab, presented a poster, “Proteomic Analysis of Autosomal Dominant Neovascular Inflammatory Vitreoretinopathy,” at the 2018 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting.
The poster describes a proteomic study of the vitreous eye fluid from patients with autosomal dominant inflammatory vitreoretinopathy (ADNIV), a rare, blinding inflammatory intraocular disease caused by mutations in the CAPN5 gene. Researchers characterized the eye fluid protein expression at every stage of the disease, performed pathway analysis, predicted upstream regulators, and proposed existing drugs that might benefit patients.
This was Angela’s first AAO meeting. The experience made her even more sure of her decision to become an ophthalmologist.
She said, “I was surprised by how much of what I had already learned in medical school – immunology, microbiology, endocrine block, neuro block, and biochemistry – closely intersected with ophthalmology, despite the field’s focus on a single organ. I was inspired by the gene therapy in phase III clinical trials, autonomous AI that can diagnose diabetic retinopathy with 90% sensitivity and specificity, and biomimetic 3D printed corneas for corneal transplantation.”
Dr. Mahajan said, “Angela, along with several of my other students, did a fantastic job analyzing this data. Drug repositioning, which applies approved drugs and compounds towards new indications, is one of the most important outcomes of proteomic analysis. We have shown that examination of vitreous biopsies can identify constituents that can be targeted by available drugs.”
These findings are especially significant for patients who have untreatable eye diseases or are not responding to conventional treatments.
Authors: Angela Li, Gabriel Velez, Jing Yang, Alexander Bassuk, Vinit Mahajan