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Switching to a cure
Dr. Philippe Monnier

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Renowned scientist Dr. Philippe Monnier and his team at Krembil are developing an injection that could dramatically improve the lives of patients

What if, with one injection, doctors could turn off the molecular switch that triggers the death of the eye’s photoreceptors – those neuron cells in the retina that enable vision by processing and transmitting visual information to the brain?​

"It would significantly improve the lives of patients with conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration," says Dr. Philippe Monnier, a senior scientist at the Krembil Research Institute. "Eye diseases dramatically impact quality of life, and the older you get, the higher your chances of developing an eye disease such as glaucoma."

More than a decade ago, Dr. Monnier led a research team that made an intriguing discovery: when the eye's photoreceptor cells are stressed – usually because of a malfunction caused by an injury or a gene mutation – proteins known as  neogenins activate a pathway that leads to the death of these cells.