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ZEISS Poster Award at the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2019

Again, the interactive poster session was a special event on this year’s Vision Camp with a broad spectrum of excellent contributions by the young researchers.

The award jury had a difficult tasks to select the three most promising posters and recognize them with the ZEISS Poster Award. This year even four awardees were chosen to reflect the high level of excellent contributions. Special thanks go to ZEISS Vision International said Thomas Wheeler-Schilling, CEO of the European Vision Institute and organizer of the camp, for their generous support of the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2019 and the offer of the renown poster award.

Further, Alexander Leube from ZEISS added a special thanks to the organizers of the Young Researcher Vision Camp and the European Vision Institute to bring together young scientits in an unique location for exchange in research and future carrer networking, which ZEISS greatly supports.

The awardees of the ZEISS Poster Award at the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2019: Daniel Pawliczek, Claudia Ingensiep, Sándor Lovas and Yiyi Chen (from left to right)
Claudia Ingensiep from the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen in Germany presented her poster on the “Establishment of a hypoxia model for the MEA-based analysis of the electrical activity in murine retinae”.

Claudia Ingensiep from the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen in Germany presented her poster on the “Establishment of a hypoxia model for the MEA-based analysis of the electrical activity in murine retinae”. Several eye diseases, e.g., diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, are associated with retinal hypoxia. Especially the lack of oxygen in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) causes cell damage up to cell degeneration leading to blindness. Thus, to examine the activity of RGCs and to analyze the effect of neuroprotective substances under hypoxic conditions is of great ophthalmologic interest. In conclusion the hypoxia models established here allow for the analysis of electrical RGC activity before, during and after hypoxic conditions and the effects of any added protective substance. Additionally, a microarray-based transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis of the retina has been performed using different culture conditions.

Sándor Lovas presented his work on “Quantification of Cell Death in Long-Term Organotypic Culture of the Adult Human Retina”. Sandor is from the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology at the Semmelweis University, Budapest in Hungary.

Sándor Lovas presented his work on “Quantification of Cell Death in Long-Term Organotypic Culture of the Adult Human Retina”. Sandor is from the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology at the Semmelweis University, Budapest in Hungary. They developed a culture technique that maintains human adult post mortem retinas in excellent condition for more than three months, enabling research on human retinal tissue that was previously impossible. In this study, we analyzed spatial and temporal characteristics of apoptosis occurring in culture. In conclusion, their human retinal explant culture system can maintain human retinas in culture for over 3 months while retaining a high level of morphological preservation. The low level of apoptosis and small deviation makes our explant culture system an excellent in vitro model for safety and efficacy testing of drug candidates and retinal regeneration studies.

Daniel Pawliczek presented his poster with the title “Retinal dysplasia and cortical cataracts in neonatal mice exposed to ionizing radiation reduce visual acuity”. Daniel was representing the Helmholtz-Zentrum München, Institut of Developmental Genetics, Eye Diseases.

Daniel Pawliczek presented his poster with the title “Retinal dysplasia and cortical cataracts in neonatal mice exposed to ionizing radiation reduce visual acuity”. Daniel was representing the Helmholtz-Zentrum München, Institut of Developmental Genetics, Eye Diseases. The purpose of his poster was that the retina is known to be radiation-sensible only in early stages of development, while the lens is susceptible to irradiation without restrictions. Despite this fact, a clear assessment of the vision of a model organism with these impairments is lacking. In conclusion, postnatal irradiation with a high dose of 2 Gy affected the eye of postnatal mice permanently, but damage in the retinae and the lenses was not enough to impair totally mice’s vision or at least the possi-bility to differ contrasts. That helps to assess the radiation consequences in catastrophic cases of exposure.

Yiyi Chen got a special award for her innovative designed poster with the title “Studies into the energy metabolism of the retina”. Yiyi represented the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tuebingen, Germany

Yiyi Chen got a special award for her innovative designed poster with the title “Studies into the energy metabolism of the retina”. Yiyi represented the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tuebingen, Germany from the group of Prof. F. Paquet-Durand and showed an unusual, excellent designed poster which the jury convinced to establish for the first time a special recognition award. In the study presented, they first analysed the expression pattern of the lactate transporter monocarboxylate trans-porter 1 (MCT1) and the glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in the retina, using immunofluorescence staining. MCT1 and GLUT1 were expressed in retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptor outer segments, respec-tively. To confirm the expression of MCT1 functionally, we then used organotypic retinal explant cultures treated with the MCT1 inhibitor AZD3965. These studies showed an increased number of dying cells in the outer nuclear layer (ONL), suggesting that photoreceptors energy metabolism critically depends on the import of lactate.

The ZEISS Poster Award Session at the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2019: Dr. Alexander Leube, chairman of the jury (Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, ZEISS Vision Science Lab), Daniel Pawliczek, Claudia Ingensiep, Sándor Lovas, Yiyi Chen and Ulrike Wittkop, vice chairwoman of the jury (from left to right).

The Abstract Book of the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2019 is ready for download as a PDF file [6.5 MByte]