Research Activities

Research projects:    

1) Understanding how the potential of retinal progenitors is controlled.   

Retinal progenitors are multipotent, and have the ability to generate a variety of cell types at a given time. However, each type of retinal neuron or glia is produced within a specific developmental window.  The lab aims to decipher how changes in the developmental potential of retinal progenitors are controlled to produce specific kinds of cells, and to harness these processes so that desired cells can be produced efficiently. 

2) Identifying the transcriptional contribution to retinal cell death.  

Cell death is often linked to apoptosis, a controlled form of cellular suicide. Degenerating retinal photoreceptor cells have been frequently shown to die via alternative forms of cell death that are poorly understood. Aberrations in gene expression can trigger photoreceptor cell death, because removal of any of the major photoreceptor transcription factors or co-factors triggers degeneration, suggesting that defective transcription is lethal. The lab aims to identify the mechanism that connects transcriptional dysfunction to atypical cell death in rods and cones. 

To learn more about the kind of work we do, click the "Technologies" tab on the left hand side of the page.

Age-dependent retinal degeneration in Casz1 conditional mutant retinas (PNAS 115: E7987).