ARGOS is a young and dynamic research team with three PhD students under the supervision of a postdoctoral researcher, supported by Professor Carina Koppen (Head of Ophthalmology @ UZA) and Professor Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill. Our focus lies on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine of the anterior eye segment or cornea.
Since its foundation in 2007 by Professor Nadia Zakaria, ARGOS has become established and recognized in the field of ophthalmological primary cell culture, characterization and scaffold development, resulting in both national and international collaborations, mobility and dissemination opportunities for the members of our group as well as personal awards recognizing the importance of our work. A phase II clinical trial in which limbal stem cells were transplanted to treat permanent visual impairment or blindess, has been completed succesfully in September 2019. This work was carried out in GMP-accredited clean rooms at the Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (CCRG) at the Antwerp University Hospital.
The translational focus of our research is found in every project, ranging from the development of biomimetic scaffolds to the design of a cornea-on-chip for preclinical drug testing. In the coming years we are hoping to expand even further and to remain at the forefront of state-of-the-art regenerative medicine with a focus on the cornea.