Recent News

  • Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 15:45

    Top vision researchers from around the world discussed published and unpublished work. The Symposium, called “When Vision Becomes Reality,” was hailed as a “magnificent” experience of collaboration by scientists and family members. Scientists at the Symposium experienced the marvel of seeing their work translate into actual human benefit when Dr. Arlene Drack, from the University of Iowa, showed videos of the dramatic improvements in the vision of children with Leber Congenital Amaurosis after gene therapy treatment.

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 16:15

    Two weeks ago our lab’s away team paid another visit to the Genetic Advancement Center in Sioux Center Iowa to perform a second round of ERGs on a new pig model being developed there. The now-experienced team, consisting of Arlene Drack, MD, Wanda Pfeifer, OC(C), COMT, and Sajag Bhattarai, MS, was able to get valuable data on the same pigs from six months ago, providing insight into the progression of the disease in a pig model and refining the pig ERG protocol.

  • Monday, September 26, 2016 - 16:30

    At Friday’s 48th Annual Medical Student Research Day, Dr. Arlene Drack received the Outstanding Mentor in Translational Research award. Dr. Drack was nominated by Morgan Bertsch, M2 and recent summer fellow in Dr. Drack’s lab. She wrote:

  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 - 16:30

    Morgan, M2, gave an oral presentation last Friday at the 48th Annual Medical Student Research Day. Her presentation, “The Utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Clinical Evaluation of Infantile Nystagmus”, shared the results of her summer research fellowship in the Drack Lab and won the William E. Scott Award for Ophthalmology Research.

    In her presentation, Morgan presented data from 284 patient charts detailing the most common causes of infantile nystagmus as well as the tests performed during each patient’s work-up:

  • Friday, July 29, 2016 - 08:45

    In 2015 the band X Ambassadors released a music video for their song, "Renegades" that features people with physical challenges doing extraordinary things. This really touched a chord, because it is what I hope for all of my patients. We made a video for a contest X Ambassadors ran on Twitter, and although we never actually entered the contest we were able to show it to the band when they played in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 18:00

    Arlene Drack, MD, presented data from the Phase III gene replacement trial for RPE65 associated Leber Congenital Amaurosis at the annual meeting of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus held in Vancouver, BC, Canada on April 9, 2016. Results of the trial, carried out at the University of Iowa and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (sponsored by Spark Therapeutics), showed statistically significant improvement in navigating a mobility course in treated patients. Many patients could navigate even in very dim light after the treatment.