The Chao Lab is investigating potential applications of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for treating eye diseases and identifying new drug therapies for eye disease.

Inherited retinal degeneration is a significant cause of blindness.  The Chao laboratory is working to create models of retinal degenerative diseases (e.g. AMD, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Stargardts, and other retinal diseases) that can be used to discover potentially therapeutic drugs. The laboratory takes blood samples from volunteers affected by retinal degenerative diseases to create patient-specific stem cells and grow them into retinal cells to study. Ultimately, our group is focused on discovering new drug therapeutics that could potentially benefit those affected by inherited retinal degenerations.