CPD and Education library

Study and gain CPD points through OT’s online CPD exams, and access archived CPD and CET articles, Practice team resources and Skills guides in our Education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

AI selects promising viral vectors for gene therapy

US researchers have developed a computer platform that decides which viral vectors are best suited to delivering gene therapy to the retina

blue DNA

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have developed artificial intelligence (AI) that helps to identify suitable viral vectors for delivering gene therapy to the retina.

The research, which was published in eLife, describes how a computational platform was developed using single-cell RNA sequencing to quickly decide which adeno-associated virus vector (AAV) is best suited to delivering a gene therapy to a specific part of the retina.

The platform, named scAAVengr, has the potential to speed up a process that would traditionally take years.

Leah Byrne, assistant professor of ophthalmology at University of Pittsburgh, highlighted that the field of vision restoration has entered a new era.

“Many patients have received effective treatment for the very first time. Because of that, the potential of our new platform is thrilling it will allow us to translate emergent therapies that are already working for some patients into the clinic much more rapidly," she said.

Byrne noted that the computational platform could have applications not only in vision restoration, but other fields.

"Rapidly developing fields of gene editing and optogenetics all rely on efficient gene delivery, so the ability to quickly and strategically choose the delivery vectors would be an exciting leap forward," she said.