T. Michael Redmond, Ph.D.
National Eye Institute

T. Michael Redmond, Ph.D.

Dr. T. Michael Redmond is Chief of the Laboratory of Retinal Cell & Molecular Biology, National Eye Institute, NIH, where he is also Head of the Molecular Mechanisms Section. Dr. Redmond received his PhD degree in 1983 from University College, Dublin (Ireland) with graduate training at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina. He received post-doctoral training as a Visiting Fellow, and then Staff Fellow, at the LRCMB, NEI, investigating the biochemistry, molecular biology, and role in ocular immunology, of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP). He was tenured as research biologist in the NEI (1990).

Dr. Redmond is best known for his identification of RPE65 retinol isomerase, which had been newly discovered by him and his group as he started his laboratory. Following their initial biochemical characterization of RPE65, Dr. Redmond and his co-workers demonstrated RPE65’s essential role in vision, being among the first to show that mutations in the human RPE65 gene cause Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), with early onset severe blindness. He went on to show that RPE65 is necessary for the all-trans to 11-cis isomerization of vitamin A in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and that RPE65 is the actual and crucial retinol isomerase enzyme of the visual cycle.

These studies helped provide a basic framework upon which subsequent successful RPE65 gene augmentation studies have been based.

In addition, his group was the first to identify and clone a mammalian beta-carotene oxygenase 1 (BCO1) enzyme. BCO1 is a close relative of RPE65 and catalyzes the first step in formation of vitamin A from pro-vitamin A carotenoids in animals, a role also important to vision. He continues to study the complex mechanisms of RPE65, the visual cycle, systemic carotenoid/retinoid metabolism, and the regulatory role of long non-coding RNAs in RPE and retina. In addition to his research, Dr. Redmond serves as Chair of the promotion and tenure committee at the NEI. He has published over 140 original papers and reviews on his research.

Dr. Redmond was a co-recipient of the 2018 Champalimaud Vision Award. He was a member (2017-2022) of the ARVO Board of Trustees, and ARVO’s Vice-President in 2022. He is a member of several journal editorial boards and has reviewed manuscripts for more than 40 journals in the areas of vision research, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics. He has served as a grant reviewer on several NIH and foundation review panels.