ERDC was initiated in 2008 to stimulate collaborations in the field of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). IRDs show unprecedented clinical and genetic heterogeneity and have an overall frequency of approximately 1 in 3,000 individuals. The most frequently mutated IRD-associated gene, ABCA4, is mutated in ~1 in 10,000 individuals, but most IRD-associated genes are the cause of retinal disease in less than 1 in 100,000 persons. More than 261 genetic subtypes have been identified.
ERDC members meet twice a year to exchange genetic and clinical data of persons with IRDs. This collaboration has resulted in many joint papers to date.
A Marie Curie Initial Training Network entitled ‘EyeTN-Beyond the Genome; Training the Next Generation of Ophthalmic Researchers’ took place from 2013 – 2017 and involved seven groups from ERDC as well as seven industrial partners.
A new Marie-Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network entitled ‘StartT - Training researchers to Diagnose, Understand and Treat Stargardt Disease, a Frequent Inherited Blinding Disorder’ started on 1 October 2018 (https://www.startn.eu/). It involves eight academic groups, six of which are ERDC partners, as well as four companies and two patient organizations.
Elfride De Baere, MD, PhD
Susanne Kohl, PhD
Carlo Rivolta, PhD
Susanne Roosing, PhD (Chair, Coordinator)