The research of the Eye and Vision research group is focused on the chronic diseases affecting the eye and vision. Our aim is to develop personalized diagnostic and therapeutic methods for these diseases in a broad and multidisciplinary manner by applying translational, clinical, epidemiological, and personalized medicine approaches in our research.
Proteomics, Clinical biomarkers
In order to better understand the underlying biological functions of diseases, we apply mass spectrometry-based proteomics in our studies. Our special expertise is in the use of very small samples in clinical and translational studies, including not only the sample preparation and mass spectrometry but also bioinformatics. We have also been developing methods for identification and validation of clinically important biomarkers. These biomarkers are used in personalized medicine to aid diagnosis and evaluation of treatment response. Our previous studies have concentrated on, for example, ocular surface disease, glaucoma medication, glaucoma surgery, age-related macular degeneration, stem cell applications and refractive surgery. Our mass spectrometry facility and services are available to other research groups at Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology as well as outside investigators and companies (https://www.tuni.fi/fi/tutkimus/mass-spectrometry-facility#switcher-trigger–services).
The research group is actively developing new methods for imaging of the eye, e.g., spectral imaging, optical coherence tomography and AI based automated analysis of the retinal images. We are using this technology also in our epidemiological studies, especially to detect chronic eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, age-related maculopathy, inherited retinal diseases and glaucoma.
Impaired vision has a dramatic impact on the quality of the life of the individual and the expenses of the society. We have been actively working to get more information about the epidemiology of the chronic vision threatening diseases in Finland. By using large epidemiological datasets like FinnHealth 2000, 2011 and 2017, Savitaipale Study and FinnGen Study we are analyzing not only the prevalence and incidence of the eye diseases but also their health economic impact, their effect on the quality of life and their socioeconomic, genetic and lifestyle related risk factors in co-operation with the National Institute of Health and Welfare and the Finnish Federation of Visually Impaired.
Functional vision – Visaxion
Vision in real life is much more than visual acuity or visual field. Therefore, we have founded test platforms to better analyze the functional vision in normal everyday situations. Visaxion (www.visaxion.fi) includes ready-to-use test platforms and analysis services to reliably examine functional vision and to test the efficacy of various therapeutic interventions, optical aids or information technologic solutions. Our platforms enable testing in simulated working, traffic and usability test environments in a safe and controlled manner.