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Dr Jörn Lakowski MS, PhD

Senior Research Fellow in Vision Science

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Dr Jörn Lakowski is a Senior Research Fellow in Vision Science within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. His research team focuses on understanding human cone photoreceptor development and disease by utilizing human pluripotent stem cell sources in conjunction with novel genome engineering tools in order to develop novel treatments for inherited and age-related retinal diseases.

Jörn undertook his graduate studies at the Department of Cellular Biology at University of Georgia (USA), and obtained his PhD in 2007. Here, he developed a keen interest in utilizing lessons learned from studying developmental biology and genetics to establish novel treatments for inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and cone dystrophy. For his post-doctoral work, Jörn joined Prof Jane Sowden’s research team at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, where he focused on developing a cell therapy approach for retinal degeneration, using several mouse models. Building on this work, he obtained a Fight for Sight Early Career Investigator Award and established his first independent research group in 2014, which aimed at translating methodologies created in the animal models to the human system. This work had a strong emphasis on taking advantage of retinal organoids generated from human pluripotent stem cells. In 2018, Jörn moved to the University of Southampton to join Prof Andrew Lotery’s Vision Group within the Faculty of Medicine. Here, supported by Gift of Sight and an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award, he is currently focusing on modelling retinitis pigmentosa, using hPSC derived organoids in conjunction with gene editing tools, and identifying chemical compounds for the treatment of this devastating disease.



PhD supervision

Accepting expressions of interest from self-funded students

Research projects

Modelling retinitis pigmentosa associated cone photoreceptor death using stem cell derived organoids. (PI; Academy of Medical Sciences, Springboard Award. May 2019-April 2021) (PI, RMC Pump-priming grant. February 2019-January 2020)

Identification of biomarkers for selection of transplantation-competent human photoreceptor precursors for retinal cell therapy. (PI; Fight for Sight Early Career Investigator Award. January 2015-December 2017)

Using cell surface antigens for the isolation of photoreceptor precursor cells for retinal stem cell therapy. (Co-PI; Medical Research Council, Research Grant. July 2010-December 2013)

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

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Dr Jörn Lakowski
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number : SGH/LD80A/MP806

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