Module C: Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (Bioanalysis) Core
Eldon E. Geisert, PhD, Director, Investigator (EEC, EUSOM)
"We are developing a systems biology approach to look at regeneration of the eye and achieve the holy grail of vision science: reconnecting the eye to the brain." -- Eldon Geisert
Dr. Geisert and his colleagues have developed a systems genetics approach to study the retina. Along with Dr. Rob Williams we have presented to the public a genetic analysis website to define genetic networks modulating retina and eye function. We have used this system to define genetic links between: central corneal thickness and glaucoma; the genetic modulation of intraocular pressure; and genes that modulate the susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells to injury. We are now defining genes that facilitate the number of axons regenerating in the optic nerve and the rate of regrowth. RPB funds will be used to developing methods to modulate gene expression in the retina, facilitating axon regrowth back to the brain.
Jiaxing Wang, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Biostatistics: Jessica Shantha
Bioinformatics: Micah Chrenek
The Geisert lab is currently focused on two projects. Using the BXD mouse strains, the first project will define genomic loci modulating the ability of axon regeneration following optic nerve crush. The second project focuses on a transcription factor, POU6F2, which is involved in the development of the cornea and is a risk factor for human glaucoma. We are defining the functional role of POU6F2 in the susceptibility of specific subclasses of retinal ganglion cells to glaucomatous injury.