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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

La Spada To Give Sayer Lecture, May 7

Dr. Albert La Spada

Dr. Albert La Spada

Dr. Albert La Spada, professor of neurology, neurobiology and cell biology at Duke University School of Medicine and director of the Duke Center for Neurodegeneration & Neurotherapeutics, will give the 11th Sayer Vision Research Lecture on Tuesday, May 7, at 11 a.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.

His presentation is titled “Clinical Features and Molecular Basis of the Cerebellar-Retinal Degenerative Disorder Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7: From Mechanism to Therapy.” 

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is an inherited neurological disorder characterized by cerebellar and retinal degeneration. People with SCA7 develop atrophy of the cerebellar cortex and the brainstem and they exhibit extensive loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Physiological assessments by electroretinogram show cone photoreceptor dysfunction prior to rod photoreceptor abnormalities, leading to complete blindness.

La Spada will discuss progress in identifying the molecular and mechanistic bases of SCA7. His team recently demonstrated that silencing the ataxin-7 gene is an effective treatment for SCA7 retinal degeneration. 

The Sayer Vision Research Lecture Series features prominent scientists conducting vision-related research. It is co-hosted by NEI and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. 

For assistance, including the need for sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, call (301) 451-6763. 

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