Hubbard receives grant to study effects of heart disease drug on retina – News



Seth Hubbard, a UAB undergraduate student in neuroscience, received a grant to test the effectiveness of carvedilol as a treatment for retinal degeneration, while participating in a summer fellowship with Fight for Sight .

Written by: Dylan Baggiano
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

Seth Hubbard, a UAB undergraduate student in neuroscience, received a grant to test the effectiveness of carvedilol as a treatment for retinal degeneration, while participating in a summer fellowship with Fight for Sight .Fight for Sight awarded a $ 2,500 grant to Seth Hubbard, an undergraduate neuroscience student and fellow of Honors College at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The grant allows Hubbard to study the potential effects on vision of a drug commonly used to treat heart disease on the retina of mice.

Retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease, affects nearly 40 percent of people with inherited retinal disease, but there is no known universal therapy for treatment. A Fight for Sight collaborator identified carvedilol, a drug commonly used for heart disease, when screening zebrafish expressing rhodopsin Q344X, a mutation found in humans that causes autosomal dominant PR. During the treatment, it was found that the mutant fish’s feeling of dim light improved and the rods of the retina were preserved.

His two-year mentor, Alecia Gross, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant dean of neurobiology in the Faculty of Medicine, says Hubbard will test the efficacy of carvedilol in rhodopsin Q344X mice by examining the carvedilol-treated retina and comparing her to untreated controls at different times. Post-treatment analysis of these mice will reveal any potential delay in retinal degeneration.

“I am more than grateful to have been selected for this honor, the $ 2,500 and the opportunity to continue my work on retarding retinal degeneration using an FDA approved drug,” said Hubbard. “I hope my efforts will contribute to a treatment that will one day end blindness.

Hubbard aspires to join an MD / Ph.D. program and pursue his love for the science of vision by specializing in post-graduate ophthalmology and researching vision.

Fight for Sight provides crucial funding to up-and-coming scientists before they can receive grants from larger sources such as the National Eye Institute and private foundations. Since 1946, Fight for Sight has supported and inspired eye and vision research by funding promising scientists early in their careers. Fight for Sight has awarded more than $ 20 million in grants to more than 3,000 ophthalmic researchers.


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