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Perspectives Newsletter

Researchers One Step Closer to Finding New Treatment for Myopia

Kansas City, Mo. (May 11, 2017) – The millions projected to be diagnosed with myopia, or nearsightedness, in the coming years may soon have an option other than corrective eyewear or refractive surgery to restore their vision. According to new research presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), scientists are one step closer to developing a molecular treatment that could slow development of the condition.  

The project, led by Jody Summers, PhD, professor of cell biology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, successfully isolated cells in the choroid of both chick and human eyes which have been found to produce the enzyme retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2). Previous research by Dr. Summers and her team demonstrated RALDH2 to be important in controlling scleral matrix remodeling. Isolation of the cells which produce the enzyme will allow future projects to identify the cells’ type and pursue development of molecular treatments that target the cells to control overall growth of the eye.

Innovative Eye Bank Service Reduces Barrier to Entry for DMEK

Innovative Eye Bank Service Reduces Barrier to Entry for DMEKKansas City, Mo. (May 3, 2017) – An innovative approach to transplanting Descemet's membrane proves to offer efficiencies, making DMEK procedures simpler and more accessible for cornea surgeons. Preloaded DMEK graft tissue, now available from Kansas City-based eye bank, Saving Sight, is expected to open doors for many more surgeons to perform this type of transplant regionally and across the U.S.

In April, Christopher Ketcherside, MD, of the Kansas City Eye Clinic, performed his first preloaded DMEK graft surgery - a first of its kind in the Midwest. 

MU Health Care’s Jarstad Joins Mitt Romney and Nonprofit on Sight-saving Trip to Indonesia

Columbia, MO (April 27, 2017) - John Jarstad, M.D., F.A.A.O., director of cataract and refractive services at University of Missouri Health Care and associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the MU School of Medicine, joined former Gov. Mitt Romney and 40 other volunteers for a sight-saving humanitarian trip with Charity Vision to Bali, Indonesia, from April 10 to 17. Jarstad was asked to join the trip because of his expertise in ophthalmology and previous involvement with international vision nonprofits.
“Charity Vision asked if I was interested in going since I have visited Indonesia many times, speak Bahasa Indonesian and am also a former U.S. Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain, which could be helpful in navigating the ships,” said Jarstad. “Plus, the opportunity to spend a week with Gov.