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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.

A team of researchers at the University of Kentucky has discovered a biological marker for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in older adults. The scientists say the biomarker shows strong potential as a means for both the early detection of the disease and for preventive treatment. Their findings were published online in Nature on June 14.

During this week's podcast Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati describes AMD and how it causes blindness. He discusses the technique his team used to discover the new biomarker as well as other roles for the biomarker in the body. Dr. Ambati explains why he considers the finding a "major paradigm shift in macular degeneration research" and provides additional details regarding the potential use of the biomarker for the diagnosis and treatment of AMD.
Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati is Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Professor of Physiology at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. He serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and holds the Dr. E. Vernon Smith & Eloise C. Smith Endowed Chair in Macular Degeneration Research. His laboratory has reported advances in age-related macular degeneration and angiogenesis in articles in Nature, Nature Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Ambati was the first ophthalmologist to win the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award and the Burroughs Wellcome Clinical Scholar in Translational Research Award. He received the Physician Scientist Award and the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Award from The American Geriatrics Society, and a Career Development Award from The Foundation Fighting Blindness. He will receive the ARVO Cogan Award in 2010. He serves on the Editorial Board of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and has been elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

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