Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Phone: (608) 265-7836
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, International Max Planck Research School University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
Postdoctoral in Neuroscience, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
The objective of my research is to determine how visual signals are processed at different stages in the mammalian retina. Our lab is particularly interested in signaling in the central part of the primate retina called fovea, which dominates our visual perception and mediates the highest spatial and chromatic sensitivity. We made the first intracellular recordings from retinal output neurons in the fovea and uncovered a specialized neural circuit that operates without synaptic inhibition. We also made the first systematic comparison of light–evoked responses from cone photoreceptors in the foveal and peripheral primate retina. Based on these recordings we discovered that the responses of cones, that were previously assumed to be functionally homogenous across the visual field, exhibit a two–fold difference in response time course between foveal and peripheral retina.
While there are no available treatment options for patients with such diseases, stem–cell based therapies holds promise. We aim to establish human stem cell derived retinal organoids as a robust functional in vitro model of human retina for stem cell replacement therapy, modeling human retinal diseases, screening drugs and testing gene therapy.
Research Key Words:
Neural Processing in the Retina, Fovea, Neural Computation, Phototransduction
Diversity instills equity, creativity, intellectual advancement, scientific progress and I strive towards creating a diverse and inclusive environment in research and education.