Demi Vogels

PhD Student

Developing a scleral crosslinking treatment to arrest myopia

Demi started her PhD in September 2021 at the MERLN Institute in collaboration with the Ophthalmology Department of the MUMC+ under the supervision of Dr Vanessa LaPointe and Dr Mor Dickman. During her Master in Molecular Life Sciences with a specialization in Biomedical Research at Wageningen University, she gained a background and interest in the characterization and use of molecular mechanisms in cell biological processes to improve human health and disease. Therefore, this PhD position was a perfect fit, as the aim of the PhD project is to develop a scleral crosslinking treatment to arrest myopia. Myopia (near-sightedness) induces structural changes in the retina and is the main reason why working-age adults develop blindness. Currently, there is no effective treatment for progressive myopia. Nevertheless, scleral crosslinking is a promising therapy, as it mechanically strengthens the weakened part of the eye without the requirement of surgery. To achieve the aim of developing a scleral crosslinking treatment, scleral crosslinking will be optimized in vitro, characterized in ex vivo animal and human eyes, and finally investigated as a possible treatment for myopia in a pre-clinical trial using a myopic small animal.


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