On November 14, 2022, the Editorial Office of Extracellular Vesicles and Circulating Nucleic Acids (EVCNA) had an exclusive interview with Dr. Kenneth P. Mitton to discuss his current research projects in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) and the potential of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes in HRMEC.
Dr. Mitton is from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, USA. He is working on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mechanisms in the retinal vasculature and developing high-throughput, low-cost targeted DNA-sequencing panels for rare inherited retinal diseases.
Recently, he won the ATCC Innovation Challenge 2022 with an innovative study. In this study, he and his team explore the use of different compounds to find ways to reactivate the regeneration of lost and damaged retinal capillaries from endogenous endothelial stem cells. They hypothesize that MSC exosomes could potentially promote responses that would benefit this process.
In this interview, the Editorial Office also invited Dr. Magdalena Lorenowicz from the Biomedical Primate Research Centre of the Netherlands. She is committed to studying the biology of MSCs and their in vivo functions, with the ultimate goal of improving MSC-based therapies.
During the discussion, Dr. Mitton shared his research journey and ongoing projects. They also talked about Dr. Mitton’s innovative research of the ATCC Challenge, discussed whether exosomes from MSCs can affect the expression of some key genes in HRMECs, and exchanged ideas on the favorable aspects of MSC-based therapies in this area. Looking into the future, Dr. Mitton talked about his prospection and gave helpful suggestions for researchers to begin their journey in this field. The following are his responses to specific questions.
Q1: Could you please share with us your journey and why you chose to focus your research on human retinal vascular diseases?
Q2: Could you please introduce the general challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of rare inherited retinal diseases?
Q3: What are the optimistic aspects of MSC-based therapies in this area, and could you please talk about your project that just won the ATCC Innovation Challenge 2022?
Q4: What kind of research goal do you want to achieve in the next five years?
Q5: What piece of advice will you give to scientists to start their journey in this field?