Prof. Ozzy Mermut

York University
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Date of Live Presentation: Fri, 01-Apr-2022


Biophotonics: Shedding Light on Biosensory Disorders and Age-Related Degenerative Diseases


Vision disorders such as age-related macular degeneration, affect over 200 million people world-wide. There is an urgent need to develop better approaches for the early diagnosis of tissue degeneration, and improve therapies to treat, eliminate or reverse disease pathogenesis. Biophotonic technologies are emerging as powerful methods, offering inherent specificity and sensitivity for early identification of biomarkers of disease progression, with phototherapy providing precise tissue targeting, and advances in fast laser methods offering more precise and confined treatments. However, these treatments still require innovations in laser-based approaches to improve control, precise energy delivery, and dose confinement in complex tissues such as the retina. Our long-term goal is to identify tissue specific biomarkers for diagnosis of early-stage vision disorders to permit the development of novel photonic techniques for targeted and minimally invasive phototherapeutics for macular degeneration producing optimal reactions limited to specific regions, and designing new biomimetic models that recapitulate the bio-realistic environment of the natural retina with accurate dose measures that provide molecular-scale chemical information during laser treatment. This will advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of disorders, and enable development of personalized phototherapeutics for debilitating vision diseases as well as other biosensory dysfunctions and cancer.

Short bio

Ozzy Mermut is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at York University and Chair of the Division of Physics in Medicine and Biology in the Canadian Association of Physicists. As a core and steering member of the Centre for Vision Research and Vision: Science to Applications, her interests span both medical and biological physics through development of photonic approaches towards optimalizing health outcomes in age-related diseases, from early diagnosis, effective treatment, to high precision dosimetry.

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