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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine and several other institutions report that two major eye diseases and leading causes of blindness can be treated in mice by drugs that activate a protein found in blood vessel cells. Damage from both diseases was prevented and even reversed when the protein, Robo4, was activated in mice models that simulate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, according to a paper published March 16 in Nature Medicine online.

During this week's podcast, Dr. Dean Li, senior author of the study, discusses the key findings of the paper and the role of the Robo4 protein in relation to eye disease. The protein targets the VEGF signaling pathway and Dr. Li talks about how Robo4 differs from other molecules, including several FDA-approved drugs, that zero in on VEGF.

Dr. Li also provides details on the knockout mouse technology used in his team's research and explains why the study's ramifications could go well beyond eye diseases.
Dean Li, M.D., Ph.D., is a Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. His research laboratory is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of vascular disease.

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