The Power List 2015
Stanzel works on stem cell replacement for age-related blindness, and with his collaborators, performed a world first: the transplantation of retinal pigment epithelium into the subretinal space of rabbits – a first in a large-eyed animal model. Furthermore, the transplants remained intact at four weeks, suggesting that many of the roadblocks to RPE monolayer transplantation have been overcome. Many aspects of this work has been incorporated into a pig model at the US National Eye Institute, where Boris acts as a consultant for their upcoming iPSC-RPE clinical trial.
His hope for the future “is that despite conflicting evidence to date, autologous induced pluripotent stem cell derived RPE will not show rejection and prove efficacious in clinical trials to preserve visual function” and his his long-term objective is “to combine my preclinical research with clinical work in a translational approach. Given the complexity for clinical translation of RPE replacement with cultured cells, I wish to build or join a larger network or team of experts to realize this vision.”
He advises young ophthalmologists to “have a vision, believe in it, remain stubborn, avoid coffee and go biking!”
A nominator said: “Boris already made it last year on the Power List – among all those big names – despite them being almost half of their age. so he shouldn’t be missing on the 2015 youngster’s list!” Another wrote “He is a future Nobel Prize laureate, for his stem-cell transplantation program, the most promising approach for the future treatment of AMD.”