Our research is focused on investigating the development, function, and regeneration of disease-relevant neurons and neural circuits responsible for vision. Our long-term goal is to apply what we learn from a naturally regenerative species, the zebrafish, toward the development of novel therapies for restoring visual function to patients. We place an emphasis on unique perspectives zebrafish afford to biological studies, such as in vivo time-lapse imaging of cellular behaviors and cell-cell interactions, and high-throughput chemical and genetic screening. We have pioneered several technologies to support this work including multicolor imaging of neural circuit formation, a selective cell ablation methodology, and a quantitative high-throughput phenotypic screening platform. Together, these approaches are providing novel insights into how the degeneration and regeneration of discrete retinal cell types is controlled.
1) Fate-biased regeneration paradigms and associated degenerative disease models
2) Immune and glial cell regulation of regeneration
3) Neural function studies linking neuronal cell subtypes to discrete behaviors
4) Large-scale genetic and chemical screens for dissecting mechanisms that regulate the regeneration of individual cell types.