UPMC Physicians Present at the 2022 ARVO Conference

April 4, 2022

UPMC Department of Ophthalmology and University of Pittsburgh physicians and researchers are well-represented at the 2022 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Faculty research is featured in both oral presentations and poster sessions.

See full list of presenters from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh below.

Friday, April 29

7th Annual Retinal Cell & Gene Therapy Innovation Summit
Novel Engineered AAV Vectors for Inherited Retinal Disease Gene Therapies Created using the scAAVengr Platform
Robert Lin 

7th Annual Retinal Cell & Gene Therapy Innovation Summit
Optogenetics for Vision Restoration, Targeting Ganglion Cells
Jose-Alain Sahel, MD

Saturday, April 30

American Uveitis Society Management
Cytokines, Chemokines and Growth Factors Profile in Human Aqueous Humor in Idiopathic Uveitis
Marie-Helene Errera, MD

Sunday, May 1

Mini-Symposia Session
Cellular Reprogramming and Regenerative Strategies to Treat Ocular Diseases (CO)
Corneal Stromal Stem Cells: Stemness and Regenerative Potential
Yiqin Du, MD, PhD

Mini-Symposia Session
Decoding the Transcriptional and Epigenetic Dynamics Generating Cell Type Populations in the Developing Retina 
Decoding the Chromatin Landscape during Retinal Developmental Transitions
Issam Al Diri, PhD

Poster Session – 388 – F0426
Applications of Adaptive Optics and Advanced Imaging
Imaging Retinal Microglial Cell Dynamics in Healthy & Diseased Eyes in vivo with Adaptive Optics
Yuhua Rui (Rossi Lab)

Poster Session
Human Corneal Stromal Stem Cells Express MicroRNA-29a in Exosomes - A Robust Cell Selection for Stem Cell Therapy of Corneal Scarring
Gary Yam, PhD

Poster Session
Clinical and Translational Research/ AMD Therapies (excluding Anti-VEGF)
Optical Coherence Tomography Characteristics in Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration with 20/40 or Better Visual Acuity
Joshua Ong (medical student)

Poster Session
Corneal Stromal Biology, Wound Healting Modulators and Regeneration
Corneal Stromal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Transport TGF b to Mediate Anti-Fibrosis Effect on Corneal Scarring
Mithun Santra, PhD

Poster Session
New Drugs, Mechanisms of Action and Ocular Toxicology
Pharmacological Chaperones Improve Rhodopsin Homeostasis and Protects Photoreceptors in the RHO P23H Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Abhishek Vats, PhD

Paper Abstract
Corneal Cell and Molecular Biology/ Corneal Development
Comparative Stromal Cell Therapy for Corneal Scarring with Corneal Stromal Stem Cells versus Keratocytes
Vishal Jhanji, MD

Poster Session – F0311
Vascular Biology
The Differential Role of Distinct Astrocyte Populations in Persistent Fetal Vasculature (PFV) Disease
Victoria Koontz, BS (Sinha lab)

Poster Session
AMD - Biochemical and Molecular Disease Mechanisms
Three-Dimension (3-D) Analysis of the Haller's Vessels in Diseased Eyes:  Comparison with Healthy Eyes
Jay Chhablani, MD

Poster Session – 956 – A0425
Immunobiology: Ocular Surface, Glaucoma and Retinal Degeneration
In Vitro Evaluation of REMOGEN OMEGA for HLA-DRA and MMP-9 Modulation and Cytotoxicity to Human Ocular Surface Cells
Eric Romanowski, PhD

Molecular Events in Diabetic Retinopathy
The Role of the STING/Type I IFN Signaling Pathway in Diabetic Retinopathy
Haitao Liu, MD, PhD (Sinha lab)

Monday, May 2

Gene Therapy and Other Novel Therapeutics in Ophthalmic Diseases 1
Optogenetics in the Clinic:  Safety and Efficacy Updates on the Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial PIONEER
Jose Alain Sahel, MD

Poster Session
Retina Development and Regeneration
Longitudinal Characterization of Foveal RA Signaling in Human Retinal Organoids
Irona Khandaker, MD, PhD

Antimicrobial and Immunomodulator Therapeutics
Robert Shanks, PhD

Poster Session
Photoreceptor Biology, Protection & Degeneration
Potent Retinal Protection by Oral Adminstration of a Purine Metabolite Against Age-Related Retinal Degeneration and RHO-associated Retinitis Pigmentosa
Owen Clinger (medical student)

Contact Lens
Vishal Jhanji, MD

Poster Session - A0426
Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration
Aldose Reductase Inhibition Promotes Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival After Optic Nerve Injury
Mishal Rao (grad student)

Poster Session - A0503
Infection and Immunity
Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analysis Identifies a Role for a Bacterial Stress Response Regulator in Cytotoxicity to Corneal Epithelial Cells and Biofilm Formation
Robert Shanks, PhD

Poster Session
Machine Learning:  Segmentation and Classification
Deep-Learning Based Diagnostic Quality Assessment of Choroid Layer in OCT Scans
Kiran Vupparaboina, PhD

Retinal Prostheses and Transplantation
Jay Chhablani, MD

Mini-Symposia Session
Advances and Insights into Retinal Disease, Therapy and Development Using Human Retinal Organoids (BI)
Retinoic Acid Signaling During Human Retinal Organoid Development
Susana da Silva, PhD

Mini-Symposia Session
The Microbiome and Ocular Health (IM)
Anthony St. Leger, PhD - Organizer

Poster Session
Machine Learning: Segmentation and Classification
Deep-Learning Based Diagnostic Quality Assessment of Choroid Layer in OCT Scans
Kiran Vupparaboina, PhD

Poster Session
Modeling Inherited Retinal Degeneration
Pharmacological Study of Retinal Degeneration
Yuanyuan Chen, PhD

Novel Pharmacologic Approaches to Glaucoma Treatment without Eyedrops
Stem-Cell Based Therapy for IOP Reduction and RGC Protection in a Mouse Glaucoma Model
Yiqin Du, MD, PhD

Tuesday, May 3

Symposia Autophagosomes, Lysosomes and Other-somes: Their Role in Ocular Tissues Homeostasis Rejuvenating Lysosome/Autophagy Function in the RPE as a Possible Therapeutic Strategy for Dry AMD Debasish Sinha, PhD

Poster Session – F0180
Retinal Metabolism and Physiology
PITP ββ/A1-Crystallin Complex is Critical for PIP Metabolism in Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE)
Emma Mahally (student researcher) (Sinha lab)

Lens Proteins: Normal and Pathogenic Biochemistry
Looking for Hidden Cues:  an the Function of the Moonlighting Ocular Protein βA3/A1-Crystallin be Regulated by the Signals Hidden in its Coding Sequence?
Nadia Stepicheva, PhD (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – F0404
RPE/Choroid Pathology: Oxidative Stress, Inflamation and Neovascularization
Activation of mTOR signaling in the RPE cells Induces Alterations in Melanogenesis thereby Triggering Oxidative Stress
Olivia Chowdhury, MS (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – F0409
RPE/Choroid Pathology:  Oxidative Stress, Inflamation and Neovascularization
Inhibiting mTOR independent TFEB Activity in RPE Alleviates the Early AMD-like Phenotype in a Mouse Model
Mihir Nemani (student researcher) (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – 2646
Aqueous Humor Dynamics & Trabecular Meshwork
Therapeutics of Stem Cell Secretome in Dexamethasone-Induced Ocular Hypertension Mice
Yiqin Du, MD, PhD

Public Health 1
Association of Patient Characteristics with Self-Reported Barriers to Eye Care at a Free Community Vision Screening Event
Haniah Zaheer - Andrew Williams (senior author)

Mini-Symposia Session
Modulation of the RPEs Immunogenic Phenotype in Disease (RC)
IFNX Secreted by the RPE Elicits Homing of Immune Cells into the Retina during Atrophic AMD
Debasish Sinha, PhD

Mini-Symposia Session
Ocular Surface Disorders:  Biology, Pathology and Mechanism (CO)
Regulation of Ocular Surface homeostatis by Kruppel-like Factors KLF4 and KLF5
Shiva Swamynathan, PhD

Poster Session
Corneal Epithelial Biology and Repair Mechanisms
Secreted Ly-6/uPAR Related Protein-1 (SLUPR1) Suppresses Canonical TGF-b Signaling in Corneal Epithelial Cells
Shiva Swamynathan, PhD; Sudha Swamynathan

Poster Session
Can Serum Drops Containing Doxycycline Provide Anti-Bacterial Effect in the Treatment of Bacterial Keratitis?
David Mora-Boellstorff, MD

Poster Session - A0095
Glaucoma:  Biochemistry, Biomechanics and Omics
Mechanical Anisotropy of the Equatorial Sclera Does Not Concur with its Preferred Fiber Orientation
Jason (Yi) Hua, PhD

Poster Session - A0083
Glaucoma:  Biochemistry, Biomechanics and Omics
Corneo-Sclera Collagen Fibers Exhibit Substantial Transverse Inclination
Fengting Ji (graduate student)

Poster Session - A0082
Glaucoma:  Biochemistry, Biomechanics and Omics
Two Photon Subtractive Biofabrication of the Human Lamina Cribrosa
Remi Shittu (post-doctoral fellow)

Poster Session 
Pharmacology/Cellular Mechanisms
Astrocyte Morphology in the Collagenous Lamina Cribrosa Revealed by Mulicolor DiOlistic Labeing
Susannah Waxman (graduate student)

Wednesday, May 4

Poster Session – A0054
Biochemistry and Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Akt2 Signaling in Diabetes-Induced Dysfunction of the Outer Blood Retina Barrier
Rachel Daley (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – 3529
AMD Epidemiology and Systemic Therapies
The Role of Metformin in the Development and Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Jennifer Adeghate, MD

Poster Session
Vision Impairment, Visual Function and Quality of Life
Epidemiology of Contact Lens Related Corneal Disorders in the Emergency Room:  Data from Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)
Bushra Usmani, MD

Poster Session – F0352
Novel Animal Models and Neuroprotection in the Retina
HDAC11 is a Crucial Regulator for Visual Cycle Genes and Retinal Function
Peng Shang, PhD (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – 3831
Ocular Surface Health and Conjunctiva
SARM1 Protects the cornea from Sensory Nerve Degeneration and Persistent Severe Inflammation in Murine Herpes Stromal Keratitis (HSK)
Hongmin Yun, MD, PhD

Poster Session – F0394
Pathobiology of AMD
Lipocalin-2 Homodimer Variant: Role in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Urvi Gupta (Sinha lab)

Poster Session – F0417
Pathobiology of AMD
Crosstalk Between Metabolism and Inflammation in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Sayan Ghosh, PhD (Sinha lab)

Biomechanics and Ocular Blood Flow
Ian Sigal, PhD

Poster Session
Ocular Surface Health and Conjunctiva
Clinical Characterization of Culture-Negative Infectious Keratitis
Sara Atta, BS

Poster Session - A0416
Biomechanics and Ocular Bloodflow
The Lamina Cribrosa Vascular Network is Heavily Interconnected with that of Adjacent Regions, not just the Periphery, likely Improving Perfusion Resilience
Ian Sigal, PhD

Modulation of Ocular Surface Immunity during Health and Disease
Robert Shanks, PhD & Anthony St. Leger, PhD