Dr. Vasiliki Kalatzis receives the Gleason Family Research Award to Investigate a Rare Inherited Retinal Disease

SPRINGFIELD, MA. – February 16, 2021 – The Choroideremia Research Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce the recipient of the Gleason Family Research Award is Vasiliki Kalatzis, PhD in Human Genetics, HDR Life Sciences at the Institute for Neurosciences in Montpellier, France.

In Dr. Kalatzis’s proposal, A Novel Approach to Unravelling the Pathophysiology of CHM using iPSC-derived RPE from Patients, her goal is to further our understanding of cellular derangements seen in choroideremia (CHM) to eventually develop complementary therapies that slow or halt retinal degeneration. Previous research demonstrated that the loss of the CHM gene causes dysregulation of calcium at the cellular level. Dr. Kalatzis will investigate the structures that determine calcium pathways and regulation at the cellular level with induced pluripotent stem cells as the vehicle for these experiments.

“Dr. Kalatzis’s work will expand our understanding of what causes this degenerative retinal disease so that way may eventually—hopefully—find a cure,” said Neal Bench, CRF board president. “We are grateful to jointly support this important research with the Choroideremia Research Foundation Canada.” Read More