Retinal Transplant Center Established by University of Rochester, Director Named

October 24, 1996

A Retinal Transplant Center has been established by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, to be headed by Manuel del Cerro, M.D., who has been newly appointed as professor of ophthalmology at the medical school.

The purpose of the new Center is to further research into the transplantation of retinal cells as a treatment for certain types of retinal blindness, such as from Retinitis Pigmentosa, and to form collaborations within the department and among the world's leading ophthalmologists for the treatment of patients with these and related diseases of the eye.

"Transplantation holds great promise for ameliorating diseases that to this date have been incurable," says George Bresnick, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. "The groundbreaking work of Dr. del Cerro adds a new dimension to approaching these problems."

Dr. del Cerro has been a leader in the field of retinal cell transplantation since its inception in 1984. His landmark research has progressed to the point where he has carried out some of the world's first transplants on patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa and with age-related Macular Degeneration.

"It is our hope that the formation of this Center will position Rochester as the world's leading centers for research into retinal cell transplantation research and, eventually, its clinical practice here," said Dr. del Cerro.

Dr. del Cerro has been on the Rochester medical school faculty since 1965.

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