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Canto-Soler, M. Valeria

Canto Soler

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Director of the Retinal Degeneration Research Center

JHU School of Medicine, Smith Building 3023
400 North Broadway Street
Baltimore, MD 21287

Phone: 410-955-7589
Fax: 410-502-5382


  • BS, Biology, National University of Cordoba, Argentina
  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Austral University, Argentina
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Professional Experience:

  • Research Associate, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, 2006-2008
  • Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, 2008

Research Interests:

Dr. Canto-Soler's research focuses on the study of the mechanisms that regulate the behavior of retinal cells in both normal and diseased conditions.  Currently, her research interests are focused on two main, highly complementary areas:

1) The study of the mechanisms that control retinal progenitor cell differentiation during normal development.  The main goal of these studies is to understand how retinal progenitor cells normally develop into the different cell types of the neurosensory retina, with special emphasis on photoreceptor differentiation.  These studies are of great importance not only for its intrinsic value in increasing our understanding of how the retina works, but also because it will have significant impact in the design of novel treatments for retinal diseases.  For example, understanding how retinal progenitor cells behave in normal conditions, and how they respond to environmental cues, is essential for the development of feasible stem cell therapies to treat retinal diseases.

2) The use of human "induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPS) to study the mechanisms leading to retinal dystrophies and their potential clinical application in therapies involving cell transplantation.  iPS cells are a type of stem cells derived from adult differentiated cells, such as skin cells.  Dr. Canto-Soler is interested in generating "patient-specific" iPS cells from patients affected by retinal dystrophy in order to investigate the mechanisms underlying different forms of retinal degeneration.  In addition she expects that these studies will also generate important information for the development of transplantation therapies for these patients.

Retinal Degeneration Center Website


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