Professor Breandán Kennedy

Our Retina International World Congress (RIWC24) takes place from the 5th – 8th June 2024 in the Dublin Royal Convention Centre, in the heart of Dublin city centre.

Our Scientific Committee has been working relentlessly to secure an impressive lineup of outstanding speakers to shed light on this research area so as part of our Meet the Speaker series, we are delighted to announce one more distinguished speaker.

Brendan Kennedy is a Professor in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science at the University College of Dublin (UCD).

We are delighted to have Prof. Breandán Kennedy with us at the Retina International World Congress on Friday, June 7, 12:10 PM – 12:30 PM presenting on ‘Pre-clinical drug screening for IRD and AMD using zebrafish’.

Image description: Headshot of Prof. Breandán Kennedy on a blue background image. Text: Retina International World Congress. Dublin Royal Convention Centre, Dublin, Ireland. RIWC24. DUBLIN: Targeting the Cure. JUNE 5-8, 2024. PROF. BREANDÁN KENNEDY, Professor School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, University College Dublin (UCD). At the bottom of the image, there are the Fighting Blindness and Retina International logos.

In 2021, Professor Kennedy was awarded a grant to continue research on zebrafish models of Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD). This work had previously been funded in part by Fighting Blindness.

We talked to Prof. Kennedy about the results from this project and next steps:

  • The effects on vision, of loss-of-function changes in zebrafish equivalents of human IRD genes (e.g. RAB28 and RLBP1) has been determined. This helps the researchers better understand the clinical presentations.
  • Better understanding of the mechanisms leading to impaired vision has been garnered, leading to therapeutic targets that can be pursued. Prof. Kennedy’s lab have successfully create zebrafish lines, humanised to express human IRD genes.

These models are being characterised to assess vision, retinal histology and retinal biochemistry to enable diagnosis of patients IRD gene variants that are pathogenic. All of these models can be incorporated into screen to test the efficacy of candidate therapeutics. Prof. Kennedy and his team hope to expand this platform to other IRD genes.

Stay tuned for more updates as we draw closer to this incredible gathering of the latest scientific research and innovation, set to take place in June 2024!

You can learn more about Professor Breandán Kennedy’s work here.