MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ezequiel Salido, M.D., Ph.D., a second-year post-doctoral fellow at the WVU Eye Institute, received a $65,000 grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundations (KTEF), Inc., to study the matrix between the photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial cells at the back of the eye.

Ronald Jones, past board commander, and James Golladay with the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and Ezequiel Salido, Ph.D., Visvanathan Ramamurthy, Ph.D., Ronald Gross, M.D., and Saravanan Kolandaivelu, Ph.D., with the WVU Eye Institute
From left to right: Ronald Jones, past grand commander, and James Golladay, department commander for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and Ezequiel Salido, Ph.D., Visvanathan Ramamurthy, Ph.D., Ronald Gross, M.D., and Saravanan Kolandaivelu, Ph.D., with the WVU Eye Institute

“I am delighted to receive the Knights Templar Eye Foundation starter career grant,” Dr. Salido said. “The goal of my research is to understand the need for the specialized environment that surrounds the photoreceptors cells, rods, and cones.”

The matrix is an extracellular mesh and is the main conduit between the cells that nourish the photoreceptors. The integrity of this mesh is important for vision health, and mutations and/or changes in the proteins in this matrix cause progressive visual deficits.  

Little is known about the mechanism and the molecules that participate in the generation and maintenance of the matrix. Salido will use the KTEF funding to better understand the role of the interphotoreceptor matrix in vision, design therapies against matrix-related diseases, and improve 3D retinal culture models.

The findings from the study will also have a significant influence on ongoing therapies that aim to cure multiple blinding diseases. 

For more information on the WVU Eye Institute, visit www.wvumedicine.org/eye

For more information: Heather Sammons, Communications Specialist, 304-285-7256