UVA Vision Research Group Directory

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UVA Vision Research Group Directory


Gordon W.Laurie, Gordon Laurie, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology
Director, UVA Biotechnology Training Program

Current Research Interests: Lacritin Cell Biology and Treatment of Dry Eye

 

 

Dr. Laurie received his undergraduate degree from McMaster University and his PhD from McGill University, Department of Anatomy.  His postdoctoral training was at the NIH.  Emerging from a functional screen for factors regulating lacrimal tear secretion, his UVa lab discovered and named ‘lacritin’.  Lacritin is a natural human tear growth factor that promotes tearing when topically administered to eyes of rabbits and monkeys.  His lab and members of the multi-institutional Lacritin Consortium investigate both basic and translational questions about lacritin function.  These include mechanisms of cell targeting and cell signaling, its recently discovered bacterial-dependent bacteriocidal activity, development of a quantitative clinical assay, relative levels in ocular surface pathology and in pre and post corrective eye surgery, how lacritin is a topical secretogogue, and further animal studies towards human clinical trials.

Selected Publications:

McKown RL, Wang N, Raab RW, Karnati R, Zhang Y, Williams PB, Laurie GW.  Lacritin and other new proteins of the lacrimal functional unit.  Exp Eye Res. 2009 May;88(5):848-58.

Ma P, Wang N, McKown RL, Raab RW, Laurie GW.  Focus on molecules: lacritin.  Exp Eye Res. 2008 Mar;86(3):457-8.

Laurie GW, Olsakovsky LA, Conway BP, McKown RL, Kitagawa K, Nichols JJ. Dry eye and designer ophthalmics.  Optom Vis Sci. 2008 Aug;85(8):643-52.

Ma P, Beck SL, Raab RW, McKown RL, Coffman GL, Utani A, Chirico WJ, Rapraeger AC, Laurie GW.  Heparanase deglycanation of syndecan-1 is required for binding of the epithelial-restricted prosecretory mitogen lacritin. J Cell Biol. 2006 Sep 25;174(7):1097-106.

Wang J, Wang N, Xie J, Walton SC, McKown RL, Raab RW, Ma P, Beck SL, Coffman GL, Hussaini IM, Laurie GW.  Restricted epithelial proliferation by lacritin via PKCalpha-dependent NFAT and mTOR pathways.  J Cell Biol. 2006 Aug 28;174(5):689-700.

Contact Information:

Gordon W. Laurie
Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
1340 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA  22908-0732

Post Office Box 800732
Charlottesville, VA  22908-0732

Tel: 434-924-5250
Fax: 434-982-3912
Email:gwl6s@virginia.edu
Website: http://people.virginia.edu/~gwl6s/home.html/Home.html

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Provencio, Ignacio

Ignacio Provencio, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biology

Current Research Interests: Melanopsin-mediated Photoreception; Circadian Rhythms, Metabolism

 

Dr. Provencio received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and his PhD from the University of Virginia, Department of Biology.  He did his postdoctoral training at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD.  He held assistant and associate professorships at Uniformed Services University, Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics where he still maintains an adjunct associate professorship.  The Provencio Lab has pursued studies in melanopsin-mediated photoreception.  Currently his lab has embarked on studies looking at the effects of light on metabolism and learning & memory.  To this end, his lab uses techniques ranging from molecular biology and biochemistry to behavioral analysis.

Selected Publications:

Berson, D.M., Castrucci, A.M., & Provencio, I. (2010) Morphology and mosaics of melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cell types in mice. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 518, 2405-2422.

Roecklein, K.A., Rohan, K.J., Duncan, W.C., Rollag, M.D., Rosenthal, N.E., Lipsky, R.H., & Provencio, I. (2009). A missense variant (P10L) of the melanopsin (OPN4) gene in seasonal affective disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 114, 279-285.

Göz, D., Studholme, K., Lappi, D. A., Rollag, M. D., Provencio, I., & Morin, L. P. (2008). Targeted destruction of photosensitive retinal ganglion cells with a saporin conjugate alters the effects of light on mouse circadian rhythms. PLoS ONE 3, e3153.

Isoldi, M.C., Rollag, M.D., Castrucci, A.M., & Provencio, I. (2005) Rhabdomeric phototransduction initiated by the vertebrate photopigment melanopsin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 102, 1217-1221.

Qiu, X., Kumbalasiri, T., Carlson, S.M., Wong, K.Y., Krishna, V., Provencio, I., & Berson D.M. (2005) Induction of photosensitivity by heterologous expression of melanopsin. Nature, 433, 745-749.

Contact Information:

Ignacio Provencio
Associate Professor
University of Virginia
Department of Biology
281 Gilmer Hall
485 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Office: 434-924-4412
Mobile: 434-409-8271
Fax: 801-729-0866
Email: ip7m@virginia.edu
Website: http://www.virginia.edu/biology/faculty/provencio.htm

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Kipnis, JonathanJonathan Kipnis, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroscience

Current Research Interests: Dr. Kipnis is interested in the role of immune system in the following conditions:
CNS injury and neurodegenerative diseases - neuronal regeneration, neuroprotection, and neurogenesis.
Models: spinal cord injury, optic nerve injury, brain injury, glaucoma, Alzheimer's Disease.

Mental conditions - cognition, neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity.
Models: age-related dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia, Depression.

In the laboratory, they working on the interaction of the immune and nervous systems. Up until recently, scientists assumed that the presence of immune system in the central nervous system (CNS) was a hallmark for undergoing pathological processes. However, new line of evidence supports the notion that immune assistance is required for a better neuronal survival following injury.  Moreover, we found that animals that lack the population of T lymphocytes (T cells) cannot perform cognitive tasks as well as normal animals do and are impaired in adult neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity. On the other hand, boost of immune response (vaccine) improves learning abilities in normal animals and accelerates neurogenesis. We are trying to elucidate on cellular and molecular levels the mechanism underlying these beneficial effects of immune cells in healthy and diseased CNS. We are also designing vaccines that promote neuronal survival and improve cognitive functions.

Selected Publications

Derecki NC, Cardani AN, Yang CH, Quinnies KM, Crihfield A, Lynch KR, Kipnis J. (2010) Regulation of learning and memory by meningeal immunity: a key role for IL-4. J Exp Med. May 10;207(5):1067-80. Epub 2010 May 3.

Derecki NC, Privman E, Kipnis J. (2010) Rett syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders brain diseases of immune malfunction? Mol Psych. Apr;15(4):355-63. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Lu Z, Kipnis J. (2010) Thrombospondin 1--a key astrocyte-derived neurogenic factor. FASEB J. Jun;24(6):1925-34. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Garg S., Banerjee R. and Kipnis J. (2008) Neuroprotective Immunity: T cell-derived Glutamate Endows Astrocytes with a Neuroprotective Phenotype. J Immunol. Mar 15; 180 (6): 3866-73.

Contact Information

Department of Neuroscience
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Office: (434) 982 3858
Lab: (434) 982 3859
Cell: (434) 964 6582
Email: kipnis@virginia.edu
Website:  http://healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/neurosci/Faculty/kipnis/

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Netland, Peter

Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD
DuPont Guerry III Professor and Chairman
Department of Ophthalmology

Current Research Interests: Medical and Surgical Treatments for Glaucoma

 

Dr. Netland received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, MD from the University of California, San Francisco and his PhD from Harvard University, Department of Physiology and Biophysics.  He did surgical internship at UCSF, and both residency in ophthalmology and fellowship in glaucoma at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School.  He has investigated various topics related to glaucoma, including recent publications in ocular blood flow, pediatric glaucoma, visual evoked potentials, progenitor cells, and screening methods.  His research interests have focused primarily on pharmacologic effects and surgical techniques in glaucoma.

Selected Publications: 

Netland PA.  The Ahmed Glaucoma Valve in neovascular glaucoma.  Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 2009; 107: 325-342.

Ishida K, Ahmed IIK, Netland PA.  Ahmed Glaucoma Valve surgical outcomes in eyes with and without silicone oil endotamponade.  J Glaucoma 2009; 18: 325-330.

Sharma RK, Zhou Q, Netland PA.  Effect of oxidative preconditioning on neural progenitor cells.  Brain Res 2008; 1243: 19-26.

Netland PA.  Glaucoma Medical Therapy: Principles and Management, Second Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Mandal AK, Netland PA.  The Pediatric Glaucomas.  Edinburgh: Elsevier, 2006.

Contact Information:

Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD
Professor and Chairman
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA  22908-0715

Post Office Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA  22908-0715

Administrative Office:

Tel: 434-982-1086
Fax: 434-924-5180
Email:

pnetland@virginia.edu

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Banton

Tom Banton, OD, PhD
Research Scientist
Department of Psychology

Current Research Interests: Perception of spatial layout; Navigation; Motion perception


 

Dr. Banton studied psychology at Indiana University, and received his BS and OD degrees from the Illinois College of Optometry. He has a PhD in physiological optics from the University of Houston. He has investigated basic and applied topics related to visual perception including spatial layout, motion perception, navigation, acuity, hyperacuity, contrast sensitivity, visual development, and brain computer interfaces.

Selected Publications: 

J. Zhu, J. Bakdash, D. Koller, T. Banton, D. Proffitt, G. Humphreys. (2008). Quantifying Usability in Secure Graphics: Assessing the User Costs of Protecting 3D Content.  Proc. of APGV, p. 91-95.

Stefanucci, J.K., Proffitt, D.R., Banton, T., & Epstein, W. (2005). Distances appear different on hills. Perception & Psychophysics, 67 (6), 1052-1060.

Banton, T., Stefanucci, J., Durgin, F. A., Fass, A. & Proffitt, D. (2005). The Perception of Walking Speed in a Virtual Environment. Presence, 14(4), 394-406.

Ridder, W. H. I, Borsting, E. & Banton, T. (2001). All developmental dyslexic subtypes display an elevated motion coherence threshold. Optometry and Vision Science, 78, 510-517.

Banton, T., Dobkins, K. & Bertenthal, B. I. (2001). Infant direction discrimination thresholds. Vision Research, 41, 1049-1056.

Contact Information:

Tom Banton, OD, PhD
Research Scientist
Department of Psychology
University of Virginia
Room 117 Gilmer Hall
Charlottesville, VA  22904

Tel: 434-982-4744
Email:  tab2v@virginia.edu

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 Peirce-Cottler, Shayn

Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Current Research Interests: Microvascular Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy, and Systems Biology

 

Dr. Peirce-Cottler received a bachelors of science in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Dr. Peirce-Cottler uses a combination of computational simulations and experimental assays to study microvascular growth and remodeling in physiological and pathological settings. She is especially interested in the role of perivascular cells in microvessel maturation and the molecular cues that determine arterio/venous identity during angiogenesis. In collaboration with Dr. Paul Yates (Dept. of Ophthalmology) and Dr. Adam Katz, M.D. (Dept. of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), Dr. Peirce-Cottler investigates tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications of adult human adipose-derived stromal cells. She teaches a projects-based undergraduate-level biomedical engineering design course (“BME Capstone Design”), as well as graduate-level and undergraduate-level Computational Systems Bioengineering courses.

Select (5) Recent Publications

Amos PJ, Bailey AM, Shang H, Katz AJ & Peirce SM. (2008) The role of human adipose-derived stromal cells in inflammatory microvascular remodeling and evidence of a perivascular phenotype.  Stem Cells. 26(10):2682-90

Taylor AC, Seltz LM, Yates PA, & Peirce SM. (2010) Chronic Whole-body Hypoxia Induces Murine Retinal Angiogenesis and Microvascular Remodeling. Microvascular Research. 79(2):93-101. (Cover Illustration)

Amos PJ, Kapur SK, Stapor PC, Hulan S, Bekiranov S, Rodeheaver GT, Peirce SM, & Katz AJ. (2010) Human Adipose-derived Stem Cell Aggregates as a Therapy for Healing Diabetic Wounds. Tissue Engineering Part A. 16(5):1595-606.

Glaw J, Skalak TC, & Peirce SM. (In press) Inhibition of Canonical Wnt Signaling in Microvascular Growth and Remodeling of an Adult Rat Mesenteric Model. Microcirculation.

Mac Gabhann F & Peirce SM. (In press) Anatomical Predictions of Capillary Arterialization in Mouse Spinotrapezius Muscle Based on Mouse Strain. Microcirculation.

Contact Information:

Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Virginia
PO Box 800759, Health System
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Tel: (434) 243-5795
Email: smp6p@virginia.edu
Website: www.bme.virginia.edu/peirce

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Menaker, Michael

Michael Menaker, PhD
Commonwealth Professor of Biology
Department of Biology

Current Research Interests: Circadian rhythmicity in the brain and peripheral organs

 


Dr Menaker received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, PhD from Princeton University and did postdoctoral work at Harvard University, Department of Biology.  He served on the faculties of the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Oregon (where he was Director of the Institute of Neuroscience) before coming to UVA as Chair of the Department of Biology.  He has done extensive work on photic imputs to the circadian systems of both birds and mammals.  His current interests center on the ways in which the many circadian oscillators that comprise the mammalian system are coupled to one another and how the system is organized generally.  Using transgenic rats and mice with luciferase reporting clock gene transcription, he and his students are studying circadian clock function in peripheral organs with particular emphasis on the ovary and the cornea.

Selected Publications:

Doyle SE, Menaker M (2007) Circadian photoreception in vertebrates. In: Stillman B, Stewart D and Grodzicker T (eds) Clocks & Rhythms (Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on   Quantitative Biology Vol LXXII). Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Springs Harbor, New York. pp 499-508.

VujovićN, Davidson AJ, Menaker M (2008) Sympathetic input modulates, but does not determine, phase of peripheral circadian oscillators Am J Physiol: Regulatory Integrative      Comp Physiol 295(1): R355-R360. (doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00498.2007) PMC 2494822

Doyle SE, Yoshikawa T, Hillson H, Menaker M (2008) Retinal pathways influence temporal niche Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(35): 13122-13138. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0801728105) PMC 2529041

Mohawk JA and Menaker M (2009) A new (and different) circadian pacemaker. Cell Cycle 8(18):2861-2862. NIHMS207047

Sellix MT, Yoshikawa T, Menaker M (2010) A circadian egg timer gates ovulation. Current Biology 20(6):R266-7. NIHMS203325

Contact Information

Michael Menaker, PhD
Commonwealth Professor
Department of Biology
University of Virginia, College of Arts and Science
288 Gilmer Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Tel: 434-982-5810
Fax: 434-982-5626
Email: mm7e@virginia.edu

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Grainger, Robert

Robert M. Grainger, PhD
Professor
Department of Biology

Research Interests:
Molecular embryology--gene regulation in cells committed to specific developmental lineages

 

My laboratory is investigating how the axial properties of vertebrate embryos are first established and then how particular tissues are determined within defined regions of the embryo. Research projects concerning axis formation focus on how the anterior/posterior neural axis is established, and research regarding tissue determination centers on development of the eye. We are studying these developmental processes at two levels: first, trying to understand the tissue interactions that control these events, and then, to establish whether the action of particular regulatory genes is important in these early developmental decisions. An analysis of axis formation was initiated because of our observations indicating that establishment of anterior/posterior axial properties in the nervous system (delineation of the brain from the spinal cord) is completed surprisingly late, some time after the initial stimulus activating formation of neural tissue. Experiments are underway to define the tissue interactions in the embryo that eventually lead to the orderly arrangement of neural tissues along the anterior/posterior axis. Experiments on eye determination have concerned mainly the formation of the lens, which is formed in close association with the retina. The developing retina has long been thought to cause lens formation in overlying ectoderm by transmitting a signal to it. This is one of the classic examples of embryonic induction which has been studied intensively because the relative simplicity of the interaction between retina and lens allows it to be examined more carefully than the interactions leading to determination of many other tissues. Our recent work has helped to define more clearly the important tissue interactions required for lens formation and has led to a significantly revised view of how this process occurs. In addition to characterizing the tissue interactions leading to lens formation, studies are underway to determine the chemical signals involved in these interactions. As a complement to these studies of tissue interactions we have examined gene activities that are likely to be responsible for some of these early axis- forming and tissue- determining events. Until the last few years very few genes had been identified that might be important in regulating establishment of such developmental properties in the embryonic head. We have now identified several genes likely to have such functions; they encode transcription factors that are expressed specifically in the anterior forebrain and eye tissues. Studies are presently underway to examine exactly how these genes may control important events of determination.

Contact Information:

Email: rmg9p@virginia.edu
Website: http://www.virginia.edu/%7Edevelbio/trop/

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Mendal, ThomasThomas A. Mendel
MD/PhD Candidate – UVA School of Medicine
Department of Ophthalmology

Current Research Interests: Retinal stem cell therapy and retinal camera development

 

 

Tom Mendel is an MSTP student in the lab of Dr. Paul Yates.  He began his study of optics while at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, where he helped develop both polarimetric and infrared sensors at the U.S. Army Night Vision Labs at Ft. Belvoir, VA.  He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University.  His current research interests focus on stem cell therapy for different forms of retinopathy, including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity.  He is also working on low cost retinal cameras.

Contact Information:

Thomas A. Mendel
P.O. Box 801375
Charlottesville, VA  22908

Tel: 434-243-6856
Fax: 434-243-6857
Email:  tam8d@virginia.edu

Additional members:

Cox, DanielDaniel J. Cox, PhD, ABPP
Professor, Departments of Psychiatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
Director, Center for Behavioral Medicine Research
PO Box 800223
University of Virginia Health System
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Tel: 434-924-5314
Fax: 434-924-0185
Email:DJC4F@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu

 

Cale Palmer, PhD
Postdoctoral Resident in Psychology
Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, Box 800223
University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908

Tel: 434-924-5314
Fax: 434-924-0185
Website: CDP6G@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu

 

Kristina Holbrook, CCRP
Clinical Research Coordinator
University of Virginia
Department of Ophthalmology

Tel: (434) 243-2852
Fax: (434) 924-5180
Email: klh7v@virginia.edu

 

Mary E. Smith, MPH
UVA Department of Ophthalmology
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA   22908-0715

Post Office Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA   22908-0715

Tel: 434-982-0855
Email: mesmith@virginia.edu

 

DrConway.jpgBrian Conway, MD
UVA Department of Ophthalmology
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA   22908-0715

Post Office Box 800715
Charlottesville, VA   22908-0715

Tel: 434-924-5653
Email:BPC@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu