The Macular Society grant new funding to the RSCR team

Understanding the role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of AMD using a patient-specific iPSC model.

Professor Majlinda Lako and her team at Newcastle University (below) will be building on a previous project funded by the Macular Society. Using a model of AMD created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), the project will study autophagy, a natural process that destroys and removes old cell components.


When problems occur in this recycling process, waste material builds up, and can damage or even kill cells. These changes are implicated in a number of age-related diseases in various places around the body, and the team hopes to understand which step in the process is affected in AMD.

Identifying if cellular recycling is an underlying cause of AMD could lead to new drug treatments.

Funding for a 3D retinal cell model

NC3rs has awarded 1million of funding to deliver Phase 2 of the 2016 CRACK IT Retinal 3D Challenge.

The RSCR group (part of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University), together with NUPPA (Newcastle University Protein and Proteome Analysis) and IoN (Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience), are collaborating with Newcells Biotech, Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Aymptote and the University of Loughborough to achieve Phase 2 of the CRACK IT Retinal 3D Challenge.

The team has been awarded 1million of funding to deliver a 3D retinal cell model which is physiologically-competent and predictive of human physiology. NewCells Biotech is the leading SME for this stage, Newcastle University led the first phase.

CRACK IT Challenges is a competition funded by the NC3Rs that brings together large industries, academia and SMEs to facilitate new business processes and product development that will have a significant impact on the use of animals in research.

Click here for more information on the Retinal 3D CRACK IT Challenge.

Retinal Stem Cell Research project awarded a CRACK IT Challenge grant

The overall aim of the project is to establish a 3D retinal cell model which is physiologically-competent and predictive of human physiology, made up of all the major cell types of the retina.

CRACK IT Challenge

The RSCR (Retinal Stem Cell Research) group have been awarded a CRACK IT Challenge grant to support a new six-month project. The funding comes from the NC3Rs, a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing (the 3Rs).

CRACK IT Challenges are the NC3Rs response to the changing environment in the biosciences and are designed to maximise both the scientific and commercial benefits of new and emerging technologies.

The thrust of the RSCR project is the generation of 3D laminated retinae consisting of all the major cell types, which are electrophysiologically competent and predictive of human physiology using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC).

A sad farewell to Carla Mellough

The RSCR group bids a sad farewell to Dr. Carla Mellough and offers congratulations on being awarded a research fellowship at the Lions Eye Institute in Western Australia from 1st January 2017. We wish her all the best.

Institute of Genetic Medicine and Institute for Ageing

Newcastle University, International Centre for Life, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3 BZ. United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)191 241 8688


Newcastle University