• on 11/03/2024

Welcome ARVO International Fellow Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI in DOVS

Our department was excited to welcome the ARVO International Fellow Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI to kick off the research collaboration with Dr CHU Wai-kit, our Research Assistant Professor in DOVS. Dr TENCONI is the postdoctoral fellow from Melina Mateos’s lab at Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas de Bahía Blanca (INIBIBB-CONICET-UNS, Bahía Blanca, Argentina) starting from 2023.

Thanks to the 2023 Developing Country Eye Research Fellowship (DCERF) granted by ARVO Foundation in supporting ophthalmic research, Dr TENCONI and Dr CHU has been working for the collaboration project entitled “The phospholipase D pathway as a possible therapeutic target in inflammatory ocular diseases” together with Dr Mateos from Argentina. For details, please visit the ARVO website at: https://www.arvo.org/awards-grants-and-fellowships/research-awards/collaborative-research-fellowships/.

Dr TENCONI shared, “Dr CHU was my mentor during the DCERF program, I met him in person in ARVO 2023 in New Orleans, United States. Then, I was granted the 2023 ARVO Foundation Collaborative Research Grant with Dr CHU in December 2023. ”

She summarized, “Previous findings from our laboratory described for the first time the participation of classical phospholipase D isoforms (PLD1 and PLD2) in the inflammatory response of the human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or to high glucose (HG) (Mateos et al., International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 2014; Tenconi et al., International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 2016; Tenconi et al., Experimental Eye Research, 2019). “

“We have demonstrated that phospholipase D inhibitors do not affect the viability of RPE cells under basal conditions and prevent the loss of cell viability induced by LPS or HG. In addition, we showed that PLD2 modulates RPE basal autophagy while both PLDs modulate the autophagic process in cells exposed to inflammatory conditions (Bermudez et al., Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2019).”

Recently, Dr TENCONI said, “We demonstrated PLD1 and 2 inhibitors (PLDsi) prevent the loss of phagocytic function of RPE cells exposed to HG (Tenconi et al., International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022). It was the first time to demonstrate the effects of PLD pharmacological inhibitors on ocular and retinal inflammation in vivo. We shall continue our study with Dr CHU to evaluate the retinal morphology and the visual functions using a rat model of endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU).”

Dr MATEOS and Dr TENCONI shared, “We expect that experimental outputs of this project will contribute to the knowledge of the molecular basis of retinal inflammatory diseases such as uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Unravelling novel mechanisms involved in the retinal inflammatory conditions could set the basis for the development of new treatment strategies”.

DOVS extends the warmest welcome to Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI!


(From left) Dr CHU Wai-kit and Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI at the ARVO Annual Meeting 2023.


(From left to right) Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI and Dr CHU’s team members including Ms. Hemlata BISNAUTHSING, Ms. TONG Yan and Ms. HO Bo Man in the group photo.

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Welcome ARVO International Fellow Dr Paula Estefanía TENCONI in DOVS