Microglia are cells that live within the retina but are part of the immune system, a system of white cells in the blood and tissues that knows how and when to respond to infection to protect us.  Microglia are also thought to be able to sense infection and trigger immune responses, but also how to respond to prevent damage to the eye by stopping excessive inflammation.

Uveitis is a disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the eye, often leading to damage to the retina - the critical part of the eye that detects light - leading to blindness if untreated.

Previous research has suggested microglia play an important role in uveitis, but there are difficulties identifying them in laboratory mouse models of uveitis as they often change their appearance and characteristics during disease.

Understanding microglia better may allow understanding why patients with uveitis can maintain good function whilst others still lose vision even though the inflammation appears to have been treated.  It may be that continuing changes in the microglia may still be causing damage and need a new or different form of therapy.

This project proposes to use two new research techniques to learn more above microglia.