The overall goal of my research is to investigate the regulation and misregulation of neural structures and functions in normal retinal development and in glaucoma.
Retinal ganglion cells have a complex yet characteristic structure that collects and transmits visual information into brain visual centers. The development of ganglion cells is stringently regulated, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Importantly, misregulation of ganglion cell structure and function leads to devastating vision losses such as in glaucoma.
My laboratory combines molecular biology, mouse genetics, imaging, and physiology techniques to study the structural and functional maturation of retinal ganglion cells during development and how they degenerate in a mouse model of experimental glaucoma. Specifically, we focus on the roles of neurotrophins, the neuronal survival factors, in modulating ganglion cell postnatal maturation and preventing their degeneration in glaucoma.