Retina Workshop 2019

Retina: Mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration and regeneration, and roles of immune system


Monday 11 November to Friday 15 November 2019


Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology Graduate School (OIST)
OIST Seaside House Campus

Workshop organizers

Ichiro Masai (OIST) and Sumiko Watanabe (University of Tokyo)


Loss of photoreceptors causes blindness, which severely compromises the quality of people life. There are more than 250 genes whose genetic mutations induce photoreceptor degeneration in human. Many research groups investigated molecular mechanism that underlies photoreceptor degeneration. However it is still far beyond to clarify the mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration and develop effective therapeutic tools. In contrast to mammals, damaged retinas effectively regenerate in fish. Recently, it was revealed that helper T cells are promptly activated in damaged zebrafish retina and triggers a cytokine TNF-alpha, which subsequently promotes Muller glia to start regeneration program. In addition, microglia also respond to injury or degeneration of retinal neurons. So, it is likely that immune cells play a critical role in the transition between photoreceptor degeneration and regeneration. In this workshop, we will invite excellent researchers, who are investigating the mechanism of retinal degeneration, retinal regeneration and the roles of microglia and helper T cells in retinal regeneration. The workshop is designed to enable participants to overview each of these topics. So, the workshop provides a platform where all the participants actively interact with each other, share their data, and exchange their new ideas, hopefully leading to future collaboration.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Dusanka Deretic (UNM school of Medicine)
  • Silvia Finnemann (Fordham University)
  • Seth Blackshaw (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Daniel Goldman (Michigan University)
  • David Hyde (University of Notre Dame)
  • Brian Perkins (Cleveland Clinic)
  • Deepak Lamba (UCSF)
  • Kazu Kikuchi (National Cerebral Cardiovascular Center Res. Inst)
  • Jeff Mumm (John Hopkins University)
  • Wai Wong (NIH)
  • Tian Xue (Univ. Sci. Tech. Chia)
  • Zi-Bing Jin (Wenzhou Medical Univesity) 
  • Jin Woo Kim (KAIST)
  • Takahisa Furukawa (Osaka University)

How to Apply

We will recruit 30 participants, who are motivated retinal investigators from Japan and overseas. Young researchers and PhD students are especially welcome. All the participants are supposed to attend a full period of workshop and give an oral or poster presentation.

OIST will support meals and lodging during the workshop, and transportation between Okinawa Naha airport and the workshop venue (full coverage). For young postdoc researchers and phD students who need financial support for international flight, we will consider their travel support (partial coverage, up to 50%), although we strongly encourage applicants to seek external travel grant/fellowship. If you have some special situation, please mention your request for travel support in the letter of intent of your application. 

Please fill out the Retina Workshop 2019 Participation Application by the deadline - Sunday, 28th of July (JST).

Program (Tentative)

Nov 11th (Mon)

13:00-17:30 Registration at OIST seaside house

17:00 Opening remarks


Session I: Introduction of this workshop aim and our research for photoreceptor differentiation and degeneration

17:10-18:00 Talk 1 (50min) Ichiro Masai (OIST)

Mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration and its possible link to microglia function

18:00-18:50 Talk 2 (50 min) Sumiko Watanabe (University of Tokyo)

Roles of immunological circumstance in onset and progression of retinal photoreceptor degeneration


19:00-21:00 Welcome dinner


Nov 12th (Tue)

7:00-9:00 Breakfast


Session II: Photoreceptor differentiation and homeostasis

9:00-9:50 Talk 3 (50 min) Dusanka Deretic (University of New Mexico)

Well-organized Rhodopsin Ciliary Trafficking Network Underlies Photoreceptor Homeostasis

9:50-10:40 Talk 4 (50 min) Silvia C. Finnemann (Fordham University)

Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Photoreceptor Outer Segment Renewal


10:40-11:00 Coffee Break


11:00-11:50 Talk 5 (50 min) Seth Blackshaw (Johns Hopkins University)

Building and rebuilding the retina: one cell at a time

11:50-12:10 Short Talk 1 (20 min) Akiko Maeda (RIKEN)

High throughput drug screening found novel readthrough compounds for Retinitis Pigmentosa

12:10-12:30 Short talk 2 (20 min) Haruna Suzuki-Keer (University of Auckland)

Purinergic signalling as therapeutic target for neuroprotection and neurodegeneration: similarity shared between auditory and visual sensory epithelium and challenges in our current research


12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Group photo and Free discussion


Session III: Photoreceptor regeneration

16:00-16:50 Talk 6 (50 min) Daniel Goldman (University of Michigan)

Overcoming inhibition for neuron regeneration in the zebrafish retina

16:50-17:40 Talk 7 (50 min) David R. Hyde (University of Notre Dame)

Transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches reveal mechanisms that regulate zebrafish Müller glia reprogramming and neuronal regeneration


17:40-17:50 Coffee Break


17:50-18:40 Talk 8 (50 min) Brian D. Perkins (Cole Eye Inst, Cleveland Clinic)

Stimulating Photoreceptor Regeneration from Müller Cells in Zebrafish Models of Inherited Retinal Dystrophy

18:40-19:00 Short talk 3 (20 min) Eun Jung Lee (KAIST)

Exogenous transcription factor in Müller glia enhances damage-induced neuroregeneration in mouse retina


19:00-21:00 Dinner

20:00-21:30 Poster session and Evening discussion


Nov 13th (Wed)

7:00-9:00 Breakfast


Session IV: The role of immune system in photoreceptor degeneration and regeneration

9:00-9:50 Talk 9 (50min) Deepak A. Lamba (UCSF)

Microenvironmental Challenges to Stem Cell-based Retinal Therapies

9:50-10:40 Talk 10 (50min) Kazu Kikuchi (National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Res. Inst.)

Induction of cardiomyocyte dedifferentiation and proliferation in adult vertebrate hearts


10:40-11:00 Coffee break


11:00-11:50 Talk 11 (50 min) Jeff S. Mumm (Johns Hopkins University)

Nanoparticle particle-based immune targeting reduces toxicity and enhances retinal regeneration-accelerating effects of glucocorticoid immunomodulation


12:00-14:00 Lunch


14:00-14:50 Talk 12 (50 min) Wai T. Wong (NIH)

Homeostatic functions of retinal microglia in health and disease

14:50-15:10 Short Talk 4 (20min) Maria Iribarne (University of Notre Dame)

Suppression of microglial response differentially affects Müller glia and rod progenitors’ proliferation in the gold rush photoreceptor mutant

15:10-15:30 Short Talk 5 (20 min) Nishtha Ranawat (OIST)

Migration of microglia precursors to developing neural retina

15:30-15:50 Short Talk 6 (20 min) Yuta Moriuchi (University of Tokyo)

Activation of RasV12 in microglia and analysis of its effects in retinal photoreceptor degeneration


15:50-16:00 Coffee Break


Session V: Therapy for photoreceptor functions

16:00-16:50 Talk 13 (50 min) Tian Xue (University of Science and Technology of China)

Vision Enhancement and Restoration

16:50-17:40 Talk 14 (50 min) Zi-Bing Jin (Wenzhou Medical University) 

A cancerous origin in organoid retinoblastoma


17:40-18:00 Coffee Break


18:00-18:20 Short talk 7 (20 min) Mikiko Nagashima (University of Michigan)

Midkine-a deficiency causes cell cycle arrest and reactive gliosis in zebrafish Müller glia following photoreceptor cell death

18:20-18:40 Short talk 8 (20 min) Kaori Taniguchi (University of Tokyo)

Involvement of “X”-mediated phagocytosis in ocular diseases

18:40-19:00 Short talk 9 (20 min) Ivy S. Samuels (Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center)

Reduction of GLUT1 prevents diabetic retinopathy in mouse models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes


19:00-21:00 Dinner

20:00-21:30 Poster session and Evening discussion




Nov 14th (Thu)

7:00-9:00 Breakfast


Session VI: Construction of neural circuit of in vivo and in vitro retina

9:00-9:50 Talk 15 (50 min) Jin Woo Kim (KAIST)

Pros and cons of developmental acceleration in mouse retina

9:50-10:10 Short talk 10 (20 min) Toshiro Iwagawa (University of Tokyo)

Histone demethylase Jmjd3 (Kdm6b) regulates the production of amacrine and horizontal cell and contributes to the maintenance of retinal ganglion cell in the mouse retina

10:10-10:30 Short talk 11 (20min) Lena Iwai-Takekoshi (National Institute of Genetics)

Activation of Wnt signaling reduces ipsilaterally projecting retinal ganglion cells in pigmented retina


10:30-11:00 Coffee Break


11:00-11:50 Talk 16 (50min) Takahisa Furukawa (Osaka University)

Molecular mechanisms of light-dark adaptation in the retina


12:30-17:00 Campus tour and Excursion to Churaumi aquarium (Lunch in bus)

18:00-20:00 Farewell party


Nov 15th (Fri)

7:00-9:00 Breakfast