Raymond Lund is an anatomist who uncovered the fine detail of sensory pathways in the brains of mammals. He was the first to demonstrate that transplants of neural cells can rewire into the recipient’s brain, leading to his discovery that cell implants have potential as treatments for some forms of blindness.
Raymond’s careful studies revealed information on the neural connections of sensory pathways deep in the brain, and the anatomical processes involved during their formation. He pioneered the study of neural transplants, showing that fragments from the visual pathway transplanted between rats can partially integrate into the host brain.
Later, Raymond’s work in regenerative medicine showed that stem cell transplantation of retinal cells can preserve sight in animals with certain types of vision loss. This work heralded the possibility of using stem cells as therapeutics for blindness caused by degenerative human diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Two major clinical trials based on this work are presently underway.