Will there ever be a cure for blindness? In today’s world of ever growing medical solutions to age old problems this is surely a possibility. One person who has now dedicated himself to learn how reverse or even prevent inherited forms of blindness is former Weston High graduate, Justin Huckaby.
The son of Jeff and Anita Huckaby recently took the role as scientist at an ocular gene therapy in Durham, NC after receiving his doctorate degree in biomedical medical engineering from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.
Huckaby received several fellowships and awards while at UNC, including a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the UNC Graduate School, and PhD Student Research Achievement Award from the UNC Biomedical Engineering Department.
After graduating from Louisiana Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2015, Justin began studying in molecular pharmaceutics at UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Over the next five years he designed, produced, and tested dozens of antibody-based molecules to be used in conjunction with drug and gene delivery systems for enhanced standard of care in localized and systemic diseases.
His ground breaking research resulted in numerous scientific papers being published in top-tier medical journals and also a patent on a gene transfer system. As further testament to how well he is respected in his field Huckaby has received over 200 citations from other professionals in the medical field.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day there is a cure for blindness? It would be one of the most important medical advances that there ever was that the entire world would benefit from. For the local population it would be made even better knowing that it was a former Weston High student and Jackson Parish resident that was the one responsible.