Ruanne Vent-Schmidt

PhD Candidate, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt's research expertise is on drug therapy for inherited retinal diseases - specifically on the progressive genetic eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. As a lived experience person affected by retinitis pigmentosa, Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt is a leader in the blind/low vision community. She is an advocate for research, science communication, and social equity.

As science communicator, Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt's mission is to inspire hope, imagination and action in all stakeholders of blindness: policymakers, researchers, clinicians, blind/partially sighted individuals, families and caregivers.

In June 2019, Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt defended her PhD at the University of British Columbia in Cell & Developmental Biology. Since 2015, she has been a public speaker for outreach events for vision research. At the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt communicates science to internal staff and external stakeholders of the blind/visually impaired community.

Dr. Ruanne Vent-Schmidt was an invited speaker on the radio show/podcast Eyes on Success about retinitis pigmentosa research. In Episode 1734 she explains why genetic testing is important for retinitis pigmentosa.


  • 2019–present
    Fellow - ARVO Science Communication Training Fellowship, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • 2019–present
    Specialist - Peer Support, Advocacy and Research Communications, Canadian National Institute for the Blind


  • 2019 
    University of British Columbia, Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2009 
    York University, Master of Science
  • 2007 
    York University, Bachelor of Fine Arts


  • 2017
    J Neurosci, Opposing effects of valproic acid treatment mediated by histone deacetylase Inhibitor activity in four transgenic X. laevis models of retinitis pigmentosa.
  • 2012
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, mRNA stability as a function of striated muscle oxidative capacity.
  • 2010
    Biochim Biophys Acta, Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle: effects of exercise and aging.
  • 2010
    Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, Effect of chronic contractile activity on mRNA stability in skeletal muscle.
  • 2008
    J Dance Med Sci, Communication between medical practitioners and dancers.

Professional Memberships

  • Association for Research in VIsion and Ophthalmology