1996, Peking University, Beijing, China B.S. 2002, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA Ph.D. 2007, University of California, San Francisco, CA Postdoctoral present, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University The overall goal of my research is to investigate the regulation and misregulation of neural structures and functions in normal and diseased retinas. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) have complex yet characteristic dendritic morphology that determine how they receive and transmit information. The maturation of RGCs is stringently regulated during development, but the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are largely unknown. Importantly, misregulation of RGC structure leads to devastating vision losses in eye diseases. For example, in glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, death of RGCs is usually preceded by degeneration of RGC dendrites. Therefore, it is critical to understand how RGCs regulate their structure and make functional connections in normal development and in disease conditions. In my laboratory, we combine molecular biology, mouse genetics, imaging, and physiology techniques to study the structural and functional development of RGCs and how they degenerate in glaucoma. Specifically, we focus on the roles of two neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT-3), in ganglion cell postnatal maturation and in a mouse model of glaucoma.
Biography Updated on 26 August 2012