Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a leader in the treatment of retinoblastoma, the most common malignant tumor found in the eyes of children. Beginning in 1997, The Las Madrinas Endowment for Experimental Therapeutics for Ophthalmology supported the important work of Charles Gomer, PhD, from the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. At that time, his supported study found that targeting the protein Survivin enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in cells. Dr. Gomer hoped pre-clinical studies about this combination therapy would offer better outcomes for children with retinoblastoma, ideally reducing chemotherapy treatment.
Today, The Las Madrinas Endowment for Experimental Therapeutics for Ophthalmology continues to support novel laboratory investigations, including the work of pediatric retina surgeon Aaron Nagiel, MD, PhD. Dr. Nagiel and his team concentrate on examine how connections, or synapses, form between neurons and the retina. By gaining a deeper understanding of how cells connect during development, researchers hope to pinpoint the moment the process goes awry and triggers various retinal diseases.