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Neurobiology Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory (NNRL)

Mission Statement

NNRL Retinal Disease

Manuscript accepted in CELL-REPORTS-D-16-01647R3.

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Retinal neurodegenerative diseases are a major cause of untreatable blindness worldwide. NNRL scientists are defining fundamental biological pathways that guide differentiation of retinal neurons (such as photoreceptors and ganglion cells), elucidating genetic and biological defects associated with aging and neurodegeneration, and evaluating gene- and cell-based treatment modalities using stem cells and mouse models.

Retinal Development, Genetics and Therapy Section

Section Chief: Anand Swaroop, Ph.D. The primary goal of our research is to develop novel therapies for retinal and macular degeneration by delineating cellular pathways and regulatory networks underlying photoreceptor development, aging, and disease. In addition to gene therapy, we are developing stem cell- based approaches for drug discovery and photoreceptor replacement. We seek to understand how photoreceptors originate from stem cells and form synaptic circuits to initiate complex visual process, and how their function is compromised during aging and in disease. We collaborate with scientists all over the world to identify genetic variants/mutations that cause or modify clinical phenotypes in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophies, Leber congenital amaurosis, or age-related macular degeneration.

Retinal Cell Biology & Degeneration Section

Section Chief: Tiansen Li, Ph.D.

Retinal Circuit Development & Genetics Unit

Unit Chief: Tudor Constantin Badea, M.D, Ph.D. We are using molecular genetic approaches to study the development of neuronal cell types, with a particular focus on neuronal arbor formation in retinal neurons.

Last Reviewed: 
October 2016