On 23 June 2018, Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Langmann was awarded the Dr. Gaide AMD prize at the annual meeting of the Retina Society in Bonn. Prof. Langmann is the Chair of Experimental Immunology of the Eye in the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne and Vice-Speaker of the DFG Research Unit For 2240 “Angiogenesis, Lymphangiogenesis and Cellular Immunity in Inflammatory Diseases of the Eye” based in Cologne.
The prize is endowed with a 10,000 euro award for excellence in research in the area of age-related macula degeneration (AMD), which is the primary cause of blindness for patients over the age of 60 in Western industrialized nations. As yet, there is no therapy for the so-called dry form of AMD, which leads to a high level of suffering for patients.
Prof. Langmann and his team are studying an inhibitor of chronic inflammation in the retina, the layers of tissue on the inner surface of the eyeball specialized for transforming light stimuli into nerve impulses. With AMD, so-called galectins are released, which are sugary protein molecules. If a harmonious way of blocking this process with drugs is found, then it will be possible to slow down the progression of AMD.
[This article is based in part on the German language item appearing on the website of University Hospital of Cologne on 2 July 2018: