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Neurobiology Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory (NNRL)

Anand Swaroop, Ph.D.
Anand Swaroop, Ph.D.

Lab Chief: Anand Swaroop, Ph.D.

Building 6, Room 338
6 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0610
Phone: (301) 435-5754
Phone: (301) 435-6149
Fax: (301) 480-9917

Mission Statement

Neurobiology Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory (N-NRL) was established recently with a goal to develop novel treatment modalities for blinding retinal diseases based on fundamental understanding of genetic defects and/or biological pathways underlying differentiation, homeostasis, aging and disease pathogenesis.

Research Overview

The process of vision begins in the retina. In humans, retina supplies almost 30% of the sensory input to the brain. Any damage to retinal neurons can lead to devastating consequences, including the loss of vision. Retinal and macular diseases are a major cause of visual impairment and affect the quality of life for millions worldwide. The basic premise guiding the research of this laboratory is that clinical manifestations of disease result from perturbations in normal cellular behavior and adaptive changes to genetic variants/mutations interacting with environmental factors. With a focus on the retina, this laboratory wishes to significantly advance our understanding of several fundamentally important and interrelated biological processes and help pursue clinical interventions that utilize these advances. In particular, we seek to understand: (1) how neurons differentiate from neuroepithelial progenitors (or stem cells); (2) how these neurons form functional synaptic circuits; (3) how neuronal function is accomplished in the normal retina and how it is compromised during aging and in disease conditions; and (4) how can we repair the damage or treat the degenerative disease.

The basic and clinical research environment at NIH provides unique opportunities to carry out innovative multi-disciplinary research that is critical for solving complex problems in biology and medicine. Our approach will be to build on strong and creative individual-specific projects yet tackle complex questions in retinal neurobiology and degeneration, which should lead to new cell, gene or small molecule based therapeutic paradigms. As retina is a relatively less complex and perhaps the most approachable part of the central nervous system, our research will complement the existing neuroscience programs at NIH.

Staff photo
Neurobiology Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory (NNRL), Staff

Last Reviewed: 
April 2015