Current Research Interests - 2007
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Mouse models of retinal disease and pathways of photoreceptor cell death
Mouse models can offer unique insights into the pathogenesis of human retinopathy. In collaborative studies, we are involved in identifying genetic defects in a number of spontaneous mouse models of retinal degenerative diseases.
During the last two years, we have identified mutations in rd3, rd9, rd11, rd14 and rd16 mice; the respective genes/gene products function in important biological pathways and cause human retinal disease in several instances.
Another major goal of our research is to elucidate molecular pathways leading to photoreceptor cell death. To accomplish this, we are examining temporal changes in gene expression in purified rod photoreceptors during aging and in mouse mutants of retinal dystrophies. These studies will assist in identifying molecular targets for drug discovery.