CURRENT AREAS OF STUDY
MOLECULAR MECHANISMS AT RETINAL SYNAPSES
The first stage of image processing in the visual system occurs in the retina at the synapses between photoreceptors and bipolar cells. Adaptation mechanisms at this site are likely to have sprofound effects on vision. Our research aims to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms by which these synapses adapt to changing light conditions.
STRUCTURAL PLASTICITY OF PHOTORECEPTOR SYNAPSES
To examine luminance-dependent structural changes at photoreceptor synapses, we use Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) to generate high-resolution 3D reconstructions of light-adapted and dark-adapted photoreceptor synapses.
By uncovering the biological basis of melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR), our research will allow for the development of a test to determine melanoma patients’ risk of developing MAR. We will also determine if the risk for MAR is heightened by certain melanoma treatments, such as immunotherapy.