My current research interests involve immune cell function in the central nervous system, specifically the retina. I am particularly interested in microglia, which are resident innate immune cells of the central nervous system. Current efforts employ the zebrafish model system and seek to understand the role of microglia in the development of the retina, how microglia respond to neuronal cell death, and how they may support or be detrimental to neuronal regeneration. Students have played a significant role in my research program.
Recommended, but not required: Cell/molecular biology, Immunology, Neuroscience
- Function of microglia during degeneration and regeneration of the retina.
- Function of microglia during development of the central nervous system.
- Characterization of novel transgenic lines, characterization of gene expression in microglia and macrophage populations.
- Microglia/macrophage-specific gene targeting.
Projects can be tailored to fit student interest. We use a variety of techniques depending on the project, including in vivo live imaging, confocal microscopy, whole retina tissue immunofluorescence and histology, quantitative RT-PCR, molecular cloning, transgenesis, and gene targeting.