Braille Institute Santa Barbara Hosts Expert Presentation on the Latest Research Using Stem Cell Therapy for Severe Sight Loss

UCSB and USC lead multidisciplinary collaboration on clinic trial for Tri-County area


 (L to R) Amir Kashani, MD, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at USC  ; Ken Richardson, Stem Cell Clinical Trial Candidate;  Michael Lazarovits, Braille Institute Santa Barbara Executive Director; and Dennis Clegg, Ph. D., Professor at UCSB at Braille Institute Santa Barbara.

Healthcare providers and community members gathered at Braille Institute Santa Barbara for a free presentation on the Future of Stem Cell Therapy. Amir Kashani, M.D., Ph.D Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at USC Roski Eye Institute and Dennis Clegg, Ph.D., Professor at UCSB, founder of the UCSB Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering and Co-Principal Investigator of The California Project to Cure Blindness were the guest experts.  They presented an overview of current research on Stem Cell Therapy to treat eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the nation’s leading causes of vision loss and blindness in people age 65 and older.


“It is an honor to have among us these leaders in the field who are driving major advancements in the treatment of vision loss,” said Michael Lazarovits, Executive Director of Braille Institute Santa Barbara. “At Braille Institute, we are committed to connecting the community with important resources and information that can benefit those experiencing vision loss.”


The event also welcomed Braille student Ken Richardson, former President and COO of Hughes Aircraft and author of Hughes After Howard, The Story of Hughes Aircraft Company who shared his inspiring personal story, and who will be participating in a clinical stem cell trial for age-related macular degeneration.


Kashani and Clegg discussed the unique medical and engineering approach of their clinical trial. The trial is a collaboration between USC, UCSB, CalTech and City of Hope.


A video of the presentation is now available on the Braille Institute YouTube Channel:


About Braille Institute

Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss.  It serves tens of thousands of people of all ages each year through a broad range of educational, social and recreational programs and services designed to help people of all ages with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives.  Funded entirely by private donations, all services are completely free-of-charge. Braille Institute Santa Barbara is online at, on Facebook (BrailleInstitute) and Twitter (@BrailleInst).


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