Leonard A. Levin

Leonard Levin
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
(608) 265-6546


M.D., Ph.D. Harvard University

Research Focus:

Mechanisms of Axotomy-Induced Apoptosis

Research Strength:

Neurobiology of Disease

Research Description:

My main research interest is to better understand the subcellular events underlying death of retinal ganglion cells due to axonal injury. These cells are identified central neurons which have anatomically separated axons, allowing dissection of the neuronal responses to axonal damage. Our working hypothesis is that axotomy of retinal ganglion cells causes expression of genes that turn on a program for cell death involving reactive oxygen species and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and that these genes and their products can be characterized, and eventually modulated. We also study the role of these and other genes in primary retinal cultures. We can then examine the initiating steps in neuronal death, and ways to inhibit them. Since certain clinical syndromes (glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, etc.) cause blindness via optic nerve injury, this research may eventually be applicable to human disease.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications