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Professor Peter J. Coffey's stem cell therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration expected to begin clinical trials in 2012
Date:10/11/2011

e work in stem cell research offers tremendous potential for restoring health and alleviating human suffering."

"On behalf of the London Project to Cure Blindness team, I am honored to accept this prize," said Professor Coffey. "This financial award will go directly to support this critical research that offers hope for preventing blindness, restoring sight, and improving the quality of life for sufferers of AMD. I thank The New York Stem Cell Foundation for recognizing this important work and for its support of translational stem cell research."

Coffey was selected by a jury headed by Douglas A. Melton, PhD, Co-Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a member of the NYSCF Medical Advisory Board who noted: "The jury was impressed with the high caliber of candidates for this prize and the range of exciting work occurring in stem cell research. We congratulate Professor Coffey and wish him success as his approach to treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration heads toward clinical trials."

Other jury members were: Christine Mummery, PhD, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands; Lorenz Studer, MD, Director of the Sloan-Kettering Center for Stem Cell Biology; and Irving Weissman, MD, Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Professor Coffey's research focuses on replacing retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), cells at the back of the eye thought to be damaged in AMD. His team was able to transform human embryonic stem cells into healthy, fully functioning RPE cells, which was not possible using adult stem cells. Professor Coffey and his team also successfully demonstrated that visual function could be restored in an animal model.

The NYSCF Robertson Prize is awarded annually in recognition of innovative and groundbreaking achievement, or body of work, that has significantly advanced h
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Contact: Diane Mathis Marr
dmathismarr@nyscf.org
212-365-7435
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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