Headshot portrait of Richard Phan - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Mentor: Vinit Mahajan (Ophthalmology)

“Development of Calpain 5 (CAPN5) Associated Autosomal Dominant Neovascular Inflammatory Vitreoretinopathy (ADNIV) Mouse Model”

Uveitis, or intraocular inflammation, is a difficult-to-treat cause of vision loss that is responsible for up to 25% of cases of legal blindness. Its prevalence, severity, and limited treatment options underscore a critical need for new therapies. The Mahajan lab has found that patients with hyperactive mutation of CAPN5, a calcium-dependent protease, show the inherited form of uveitis. As of now, there lacks animal models that express hyperactive CAPN5 in the eye. Therefore, the lab is currently working on the development of an CAPN5 eye disease mice model. Establishment of CAPN5 eye disease mice model enables us to elucidate how CAPN5 plays a role in the intraocular inflammation pathway and develop CAPN5 inhibitive therapeutics to cure CAPN5-related uveitis.