Characterizing mRNA Expression in the Retinal Ganglion Cells of the Developing Chick Retina

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2014-04-15
Authors
Lee, Miranda
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Abstract

The retina is responsible for sensing light and transmitting the signal to the brain in the form of chemical and electrical signals. In our lab, we focus on the development of one set of neurons in the retina, the retinal ganglion cells. These cells receive visual information and send that information as a signal to the brain via their axons, which make up the optic nerve. Studying these cells is important for medical advancement treating diseases such as glaucoma, in which the death of these cells eventually leads to blindness. The goal of my research is to identify the genes most critical to development of healthy retinal ganglion cells by characterizing the mRNA expressed in these cells in the developing chick retina at different time points. Identifying these critical genes and the time points at which they are expressed could contribute to successful ganglion cell generation in vitro. The cells could then be used to replace unhealthy cells that are causing disease and blindness.

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