Project Title: PKM2 metabolic reprogramming to prevent photoreceptor death in a preclinical model of macular degeneration.
- Cagri G. Besirli, MD, PhD
- Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA
- $100,000 for one year
Dr. Besirli’s area of practice is gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases. Other areas include disease and surgery of the retina and vitreous, including retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular disease, ocular trauma, ocular inflammation, macular and submacular surgery. He is also involved in medical and surgical management of acquired and inherited pediatric retinal disorders, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), Coats’ disease.
Dr. Besirli’s research focuses on the characterization of pathways critical for cell death during retinal stress, including retinal detachment and macular degeneration. Primary focus is given to the identification of individual proteins that regulate intracellular checkpoints important for retinal cell death or survival, with the ultimate goal of developing new therapeutic agents for clinical use.
Dr. Besirli’s IRRF-supported study involves a hypothesis that metabolic reprogramming of photoreceptors (PR), by modulating PKM2 (the key regulatory enzyme of glycolysis, pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme 2) will enhance survival of PRs during outer retinal stress secondary to AMD.