Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
CCBIO Special Seminar

Shining Light on the Metabolic Control of Retinal Diseases

Welcome to a CCBIO Special Seminar February 21st, organized as part of the CCBIO/Harvard INTPART partnership, with speaker Magali Saint-Geniez from Harvard Medical School and Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts.

Illustration of a retina.

Main content

The seminar is organized as part of the CCBIO/Harvard INTPART partnership, in the CCBIO Seminar series as a CCBIO Special Seminar. 

Also recommended: CCBIO Seminar with Diane Bielenberg, 14.30-16.30 the same day, and interested may also participate in
other lectures by Magali Saint-Geniez and Diane Bielenberg as they will be lecturing at the course CCBIO907 Cancer-related vascular biology February 8-22. Contact Elisabeth.Wik@uib.no if you wish to sit in on some lectures.

Speaker: Magali Saint-Geniez, Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, and Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts, Eye and Ear, Assistant Scientist.

When: 21. February 2019, 11:00-12:00 (come a little earlier for serving of waffles and cooffee before the seminar starts)

Where: Auditorium to be announced, at Haukeland University Hospital campus.

Title: "Shining Light on the Metabolic Control of Retinal Diseases"

Chairperson: Lars A. Akslen

Open to all, no registration needed.


Functional maturation depends on the induction of a specific metabolic program able to support the energetic requirements of specialized tissues. Conversely, metabolic dysfunction can drive cellular reprogramming and transdifferentiation. While establishment and maintenance of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) phenotype is crucial to retinal homeostasis, the molecular mechanisms governing RPE metabolic and functional maturation are unknown. This lecture will describe recent work from our laboratory establishing PGC-1α as a core regulator of RPE mitochondrial function and highlighting the critical role of oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial health in controlling RPE phenotype and retinal functions.


Dr. Magali Saint-Geniez earned her PhD from the University of Toulouse, France where she trained in vascular research at the ISERM laboratory. In 2002, she joined Schepens Eye Research Institute to pursue postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Patricia D’Amore. At that time, her research focused on the role of VEGF in ocular development and maintenance of retinal homeostasis. She is now an Assistant Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard. Her current research program focuses on the characterization of novel molecular pathways involved in various retinal degenerative diseases. In particular, she is investigating the underlying pathogenic roles of metabolic dysfunction and oxidative damage in photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium, and is evaluating the therapeutic benefits of novel metabolic regulators using multidisciplinary approaches, including mouse model generation, computational modeling, and molecular and metabolic biology. In 2015, Dr. Saint-Geniez, received the Cotran Early Career Investigator Award 2016 (ASIP) for her contribution to ocular research.