The Department of Clinical Neurosciences brings together the departments of neurosurgery, neurology, neurorehabilitation, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. The research activities are very varied and relate to the diseases treated, such as epilepsy or brain tumours, hearing, sight, memory or movement disorders.

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease, which is responsible for 67 million visually impaired patients in Europe. Due to age-related changes, genetic predisposition and external factors (e.g. smoking or poor nutrition), cells in the central part of the retina and surrounding tissues die, which severely impairs patients’ vision and can even lead to blindness. There are two different forms: the dry form, which is mainly characterised by an accumulation of harmful waste products under the retina, and the wet form, which is mainly characterised by the pathological growth of vessels in the retina, leading to bleeding from the retina. Few treatments are available, which are expensive and require chronic treatment over many years.

2. PROJECT N°1 – Incubator for the co-culture of ocular cells and retina without the use of animal products, as a model for testing the efficacy and toxicity of innovative therapies for AMD. 

This project was designed to determine the optimal culture parameters to achieve sustainable animal product-free co-culture of iPS cell-derived RPE cells (iEPR) with human retina to establish a model of AMD.


  • Implementation of animal product-free culture conditions.
    Establishment of culture conditions for the co-culture of iEPR cells and retina.
  • Electrophysiological analysis of the co-culture.
  • Validation of the model testing the neuroprotective function of PEDF.

3. PROJECT N°2 – Non-viral stem cell-based gene therapy for advanced dry AMD. 

In this project, the specialists propose to genetically modify induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, differentiate them into RPE cells (iEPR) and test in cell and retinal cultures the safety and efficacy of this new cell-based drug to treat advanced sDMLA.


  • Transfection of iEPR cells (RPE derived from iPS cells).
  • Determination of the efficacy and safety profile of iEPR cells transfected with PEDF/GM-CSF.
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Fondation de bienfaisance Pierre et Andrée Haas
Rue du Vieux-Collège 8, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland

Banque Migros SA
IBAN : CH65 0840 1000 0655 0363 5


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