Treatments with stem cells and gene therapy will combat certain types of blindness within the next decade

Spanish and international researchers will meet at CaixaForum Barcelona on 6 and 7 September in an event organized by B·Debate to discuss new treatments for different types of blindness

During the event there will be a poster session to present the projects from different research groups.

Regenerative medicine, gene therapy, photonics and nanotechnology are providing new treatments to combat different types of blindness. Scientific advances will be able to restore vision for certain types of blindness over the next decade, and they will be able to cure retinal degenerative diseases, the leading cause of vision loss.

CaixaForum Barcelona will host the Fighting Blindness event on 6 and 7 September. Future Challenges and Opportunities for Visual Restoration will address all the advancements made by Spanish and international researchers in the fight against blindness, in an event held by B·Debate, an initiative by Biocat and Obra Social ‘la Caixa’.

The event will be led by the Barcelona Macula Foundation (BMF), with collaboration from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the LEITAT Foundation. The director of the BMF, Jordi Monés, is the scientific leader. “We will eliminate the causes of blindness, one by one”, says Monés. The doctor believes that they will now be able to start controlling some diseases that have been untreatable until now.

Basic and translational researchers will participate in the event, in search of potential synergies and collaborative projects. These include Marco A. Zarbin (New Jersey Medical School), who is researching biomarkers to prevent Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Caroline Klaver (Rotterdam University), who is researching biomarkers for more aggressive AMD, and Jayakrishna Ambati (University of Kentucky), who is researching the molecular mechanisms involved in developing AMD.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 285 million people around the world with vision problems, and 1 in 4 people over 80 years old will suffer from macular degeneration, a disease that makes it difficult to read and to recognize faces. The WHO has proposed eliminating preventable causes of blindness by 2020.



Date: 6 and 7 September

Place: CaixaForum Barcelona

More information at the B·Debate website.

Follow the debate on Twitter with the hashtags #BDBlindness and #BDebate, and via the account @BDebate.