Retinal & Developmental Neurobiology Laboratory

montage of microscope images and lab members

An overall unifying theme to our research has been the study of the retina as a model of the brain in order to further our understanding of the developmental biology of the glial cells and vasculature of the central nervous system.

The laboratory has also made a major contribution to the understanding of the cellular mechanisms by which new vessels are formed in the retina and choroid during normal development, and in various disease processes.

We have also studied the glial, vascular & immune response in various diseases that involves the blood vessels, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), cerebral malaria, and inflammatory demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and physiological aging.

Other current projects in the laboratory aim to investigate the potential application of neural stem/precursor cells in animal models of MS and spinal cord injury. We aim to determine the best conditions required to generate pure populations of human spinal cord derived astrocytes, while further studies are underway to maximise cell differentiation along the oligodendrocytic and neuronal pathways. Studies will ultimately be undertaken to maximize integration, migration and functional incorporation of transplanted cells in experimental models of disease.