Research

Development of Aqueous Humor Outflow Tissues

Congenital Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and affects nearly 80 million people worldwide. Elevated intraocular pressure is a major risk factor for glaucoma. Aqueous humor drainage tissues such as Schlemm’s canal and trabecular meshwork regulate intraocular pressure. Using a combination of mouse genetics and single cell multiomics, I aim to understand the development of aqueous humor outflow tissues in an effort to design better therapeutics for various forms of glaucoma.

Development of Ciliary Margin

Aniridia, Coloboma

The developing ciliary margin gives rise to the ciliary body and iris, tissues involved in production of aqueous humor and light adaptation respectively. Using mouse genetics, single cell transcriptomics, and organoids, I discovered the combinatorial role of FGF and WNT signaling in the specification of ciliary margin.

Development of Amacrine Cell Subtypes

Retinopathies

Neuronal diversity in the retina is responsible for image-forming and non-image forming functions. Amacrine cells are the most diverse type of neurons. I discovered that a transcription factor - Lhx9 is responsible for the development of nitric-oxide expressing amacrine cells that stratify in one specific layer in the inner plexiform layer of the retina.

Other research: As part of graduate and postdoctoral research, minor research focus included studying role of Muller glial cells in regeneration of injured mammalian retina, disease modeling using optic cup organoids, and understanding disease variability using transcriptomics.

Grants


BrightFocus Foundation National Glaucoma Research Award (2021-2023)


Knights Templar Eye Foundation Early Career Starter Grant (2017-2019)


NYSTEM pre-doctoral training grant (2012-2014)