Advisory Board

Dr. Nady Golestaneh

Nady Golestaneh, Ph.D., MSc is Director of The Golestaneh Lab, Director of Research at the Department of Ophthalmology, and Associate Professor in Neurology and Biochemistry at the Department of Ophthalmology at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Nady’s lab is investigating how aging mechanisms affect the cells and induce diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, she is studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that induce AMD and is developing ways to stop this disease from occurring. Another focus of her lab is developing new methods of autologous cell-based therapy for AMD by generating patient-specific stem cell-derived neuroretinal cells.

Nady earned her Ph.D. in 2000 in the field of Biology and Pharmacology of Aging from the University of Paris VI, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris France. She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Paris VI, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris France, and her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Paris VII, Jussieu, Paris France. She performed her postdoctoral training at NEI/NIH, Johns Hopkins University, and at Georgetown University.

She has received several awards and honors, such as the John Eisenberg Career Development Award from Georgetown University in 2010, Novel & News Worthy Abstract from ASCB in 2007, and Best Paper Published in International Journal of Toxicology in 2002, among others.

She serves as an editorial member of several reputed journals including Human Genetics & Embryology, International Journal of BioEngineering and Technology (IJBET), and CellR4, and is expert Reviewer for journals including Journal of Neuroscience, Plos One, FASEB Journal, Cell Death and Disease, Stem Cells, and Oncogene Journal.

Nady has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Association for Research in Vision and ophthalmology (ARVO), and American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB).

Nady’s lab had the following to say about AMD research:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in the U.S. and the developed world. AMD is a multifactorial disease and there is no adequate animal model that recapitulates key characteristics of dry AMD. The lack of a robust model for AMD is a major impediment for mechanistic studies and drug development. Consequently, effective treatments for AMD are not available, although vitamin supplementation is recommended and is modestly beneficial for a small population of patients. Therefore, the need for novel therapeutic and preventive strategies is pressing.

Recent generation of RPE cells from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offers new promise for cell replacement therapy and disease modeling in AMD.

Previously, we showed that the induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), (iPSC-RPE) are phenotypically and functionally identical to the native RPE, offering promise for cell replacement therapy in AMD.

We recently generated an iPSC-derived disease model for dry AMD. AMD Patients’ skin cell were collected and cultured under an IRB protocol and induced to pluripotency using the Yamanaka vectors, prior to differentiation into RPE. Striking disease phenotypes and impaired functions were identified in AMD iPSC-RPE compared to normal iPSC-RPE. The mechanisms underlying the disease phenotypes have been investigated. Our research elucidates whether iPSC-RPE from skin of AMD patients are a reliable and safe source for autologous cell-based therapy in AMD, and proposes important new information for development of novel drugs for treatment of dry AMD.

Read Researcher Applies Unique Model to Degenerative Eye Disease, Klotho Retinal Pigment Regulation, Pgc-1α repression and high-fat diet induce age-related macular degeneration-like phenotypes in mice, and Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling.

Watch her talk at the 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy August 10–12, 2015.

See her reviewer profile at View her LinkedIn profile. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or ask to follow her on her private Instagram profile. Visit her Georgetown University Medical Center faculty page. Read about her publications at, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and at dblp: computer science bibliography.