Welcome to the McGregor Lab
The debilitating vision loss caused by photoreceptor degenerations like AMD and retinitis pigmentosa represents a significant burden on both the individuals affected and society as a whole. If identified early it may be possible to slow the rate of photoreceptor loss, but once photoreceptors have degenerated, little can currently be done to restore high quality vision that is useful for tasks such as recognising faces or reading text.
To address this challenge, I am using adaptive optics technology to optimize vision restoration therapies at the fovea, the retinal structure that is specialized to perform high acuity tasks. With its unusual anatomy and physiology, this region dominates the representation of the visual world in cortex, and prior efforts to restore vision have been most successful if this location is included. Furthermore, the fovea is the location of vision loss in the large and growing patient population with AMD.
My current work focusses on optogenetic and photoreceptor replacement therapies, but many of the specific challenges caused by the unusual anatomy and physiology of the fovea are common to all vision restoration approaches.