We are part of the Department of Cellular, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology, and the Black Family Stem Cell Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York. Our laboratory is located on the 13th floor of the Icahn Medical Institute, on the Upper East Side.
The Blenkinsop lab studies the plasticity of the adult human eye in normal and pathological states. We are currently focused on the role of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of cells supporting the photoreceptors of the retina. The Retinal Pigment Epithelium exhibits regenerative capacity in some conditions and our objective is to better understand the epigenetic state and molecular architecture of this plasticity to find ways to activate this potential endogenously. Our approach is to develop in vitro models of eye diseases using cells isolated from human donor tissues, in the effort to more closely mimic human eye disorders and examine their cellular, molecular and physiological foundation. In parallel, we are developing cell transplantation therapies for patients with retinal degeneration due to diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration and eye injury.