The Gates Center co-sponsors cutting edge research in the crucial field of ophthalmology, where, in just one example, millions of Americans each year suffer from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and are searching for improvement in their quality of life.  

Dr. Valeria Canto-Soler, Ph.D., and a team of researchers working to grow replacement retinas from stem cells in laboratory settings are among the world class innovators in the Gates Center ophthalmology concentration. Canto-Soler is one of the leaders of the CellSight Ocular Stem Cell and Regeneration Research Program, a synergistic cross-disciplinary team of investigators working in a highly collaborative manner with basic researchers and clinicians with a common vision. Their simple yet complex goal: to develop novel stem cell-based therapeutics to save and restore sight in patients with blinding diseases.​

CellSight integrates several independent research groups that have come together as a unified team to find solutions to ocular diseases. In a concerted effort, the investigators at CellSight work with the clinicians at the Lions Eye Center and the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine​​ with a goal of translating innovative treatments from the laboratory bench to the bed side.

CellsSight’s ongoing collaborative work with investigators from the Gates Center and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy position it particularly well for succeeding in the discovery of new therapies for eye diseases and in translating them from the lab to the clinic. Investigators at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy contribute with their expertise in drug development and testing. The Gates Center, with the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility, brings in the expertise and capability to produce stem cell- and drug- based discoveries at the scale and quality required to initiate clinical trials.