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NTP Guest Speaker Dr. Robert Nickells
November 18, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Speaker: Dr. Robert Nickells, Professor and Frederick A. Davis Chair of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, UW-Madison
Title: “Control of neuronal death by BCL2 gene family proteins during optic nerve neurodegeneration”
When: Thursday, Nov 18th from 3-4 pm.
Where: Online via Zoom. Click the link here to join.
Brief Description: While many factors can be identified as root causes of neurodegeneration, the ultimate consequence is the untimely death of populations of neurons. Optic nerve diseases, including glaucoma, represent one of the most prevalent classes of neurodegeneration in the aging human population. These diseases affect long projection neurons of the CNS in the retina called retinal ganglion cells. Studies of the molecular pathology within dying ganglion cells indicate a critical role of the proteins in the BCL2 gene family, which control mitochondrial dysfunction leading to the intrinsic apoptotic program in the somal compartments and possibly early onset degeneration of the axonal compartments of these cells. Modulation of these proteins, including pro-apoptotic BAX and anti-apoptotic BCLX(L), have shown promise in mitigating retinal and optic nerve degeneration in animal models of optic nerve injury.