APR 23, 2019 11:00 AM PDT

Utilizing the lens epithelial explant culture system to investigate cataract formation

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School
      Daisy Shu received her BOptom and BSc degrees from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia in 2012. She then worked in clinical practice for two years before starting her PhD in Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney, Australia under the supervision of Professors Frank Lovicu and John McAvoy. Her research explored growth factor signalling pathways activated during the formation of fibrotic forms of cataract with a focus on transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ)-driven epithelial-mesenchymal transition. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA in the Magali Saint-Geniez Labotary studying the role metabolism and mitochondrial in retinal eye diseases with a focus on the role of TGFβ.

      Daisy currently serves on the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Advocacy and Outreach Committee (since 2018), Harvard Medical School Postdoc Association and Young Investigator Committee of the International Society for Eye Research (ISER). Daisy has presented at numerous local, national and international conferences including ARVO, ISER and the American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting. She is a recipient of American Academy of Optometry 2018 Irvin M. Borish Ezell Fellow, The University of Sydney John Irvine Hunter Prize for best publication in 2018, Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) 2017 Best Student Oral Presentation Prize and the ARVO 2016 Members-in-training Poster Prize in Lens.

      Daisy is passionate about science communication and outreach. She was part of the first cohort to complete the ARVO Science Communication Training Fellowship in 2017. She is a co-host of "The Peer Review", a podcast about science, research and academia. She successfully crowdfunded her PhD research project on Experiment.com in 2017 on curing cataract.

      She enjoys updating her followers on her science adventures on social media via the handle @EyeDaisyShu.

    DATE:   April 23, 2019
    TIME:   11:00am PDT, 2:00pm EDT
    Cataract, a clouding of the ocular lens, is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Currently the only means of treatment is through surgical intervention. Given the sheer prevalence of cataract worldwide, surgical intervention places a significant financial burden on the health-care system. Hence, there is a need to develop pharmacological treatments to maintain the transparency of the lens. This webinar will explore the molecular and cellular basis of how cataract forms with a particular focus on the role of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) and its downstream signaling pathways. The Lens Research Laboratory at the University of Sydney led by Professor Frank Lovicu seeks to unravel the complex interplay of growth factor signaling pathways involved in the formation of cataract and in doing so, find novel drug targets to combat cataract. The lens epithelial explant culture system was developed in the Lens Research Laboratory in the 1980s and has enabled the discovery of many now well-accepted phenomena about lens epithelial cell behavior. Using this model, observations can be made while primary lens epithelial cells are adherent to their native basement membrane, known as the lens capsule, thus enabling a closer representation of the in vivo situation compared to This webinar will explain how lens epithelial explants are generated and utilized for experiments.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand basic ocular lens anatomy and how disruption of this anatomy can result in lens pathology known
      as cataract
    • Understand how lens epithelial explants are generated and how they can be applied to explore lens epithelial
      cell behavior and how cataract forms
    • Understand the role of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) and its downstream signaling pathways in cataract formation


    LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.

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