Edwin M. Stone, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of ophthalmology and the director of the Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration, the Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory, and the Institute for Vision Research at the University of Iowa. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX and his training in vitreoretinal surgery at the University of Iowa. Dr. Stone holds the Seamans-Hauser Chair of Molecular Ophthalmology and is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received the Doyne Medal, the Gregg Medal, the Cogan Award, the Llura Liggett Gund Award, the Rosenthal Award, the Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize, the Alcon Research Institute Award, and the Wasserman Award. Dr. Stone has also given numerous named lectures including the inaugural Davson Lecture and the Jackson Memorial Lecture.
Every patient I see in my inherited retinal disease clinic asks me how soon we can deliver effective therapy to them. Most young patients will need some form of gene-replacement or neuroprotective therapy to prevent further injury to their still functioning retina while most older patients will need some immunologically-matched, genetically-corrected photoreceptive elements safely and stably transplanted into their injured retinas. Rapidly achieving these goals for patients with many different molecular forms and clinical stages of inherited retinal disease will require: 1) cost effective, sensitive and specific genetic tests, 2) a means of creating transplantable retinal tissues from patient-derived iPSCs (for cell-based treatment as well as for rapidly and inexpensively assessing the performance of new therapeutic vectors in human cells) and, 3) an assortment of immune-deficient animal models of inherited retinal disease that can be used for testing the viability and functionality of genetically-corrected, iPSC-derived retinal cells. My laboratory is currently pursuing all three of these goals.