Phaco Training and Research

By | February 13, 2012

I have always considered it of paramount importance that a medical doctor should also be a scientist.

If not a scientist, then at least a practicing medical doctor must have a scientific out look with a crit

ical thinking.

That is how he or she will know of the importance of conducting a double-blinded placebo controlled clinical trials.

Science IS evidence based, anything else is quackery.

This is exactly a true physician knows why homeopathy, ayurveda, crystal therapy etc. do not work.

I keenly got involved into translational research at Johns Hopkins and was involved in gene therapy.

We were using adeno-viral vectors to transfer a specific gene into the RPE retinal cells in-vitro.

That work never got published as I moved to west coast to University of California, Irvine.

There I had a fruitful career of 2 years with 3 publications.

Here is one of the paper:

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 May;51(5):2601-7. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Inhibition of apoptosis in human retinal

pigment epithelial cells treated with

benzo(e)pyrene, a toxic component of

cigarette smoke.



Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92868, USA.



To study the inhibitory effects of some agents or drugs (inhibitors) on benzo(e)pyrene (B(e)P)-induced cell death and apoptosis on human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells in vitro.


ARPE-19 cells were pretreated with varying concentrations of different classes of inhibitors (calpain, benzyl isothiocyanate [BITC], simvastatin, epicatechin, genistein, resveratrol, and memantine) before B(e)P exposure. Cell viability (CV) was determined by a trypan blue dye-exclusion assay. Caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activities were measured by fluorochrome assays. The production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) was measured with 2,7-dicholorodihydrofluorescein diacetate dye assay.


At 30-microM concentrations, the genistein, resveratrol, and memantine inhibitors were able to reverse significantly the loss of cell viability, the activation of caspase-3/7 and caspase-9, and the production of ROS/RNS in ARPE-19 cell cultures. Memantine was the most potent and genistein was the least effective inhibitor in blocking the B(e)P-induced effects. Calpain, BITC, simvastatin, and epicatechin did not reverse the loss of cell viability in B(e)P-treated ARPE-19 cells. As a matter of fact, at the concentrations studied (15, 30, 45 microM), the BITC plus B(e)P-treated cultures showed significantly lower cell viability than the B(e)P-treated culture alone, suggesting BITC-related toxicity.


Genistein, resveratrol, and memantine can reverse the apoptosis and oxidant production generated by B(e)P, a toxic element of smoking. These inhibitors may be beneficial against retinal diseases associated with the loss of RPE cells.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Dr. Kuppermann/Dr. Kenney Lab in the University of California, Irvine in Orange.
We carried out all our experiments in this lab.
Remember, the ultimate test of any idea, hypothesis or theory is Experiments.