Graduate Studies Faculty

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Martha Neuringer, Ph.D.

Affiliate Associate Scientist, Division of Neuroscience, ONPRC
Research Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Clinical Nutrition
Oregon National Primate Research Center
Admin Unit: SOM-DOM Endocrinology, Diabetes & Clinical Nutrition
Phone: 503 690-5360
Lab Phone: 503 690-5357
Fax: 503 690-5563
Office: ONPRC Res. Bldg.
Mail Code: L584
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:
cognitive aging, learning and memory, primate behavior, behavioral development; retinal disease, age-related macular degeneration, visual development, nutritional factors, eye disease genetics » Click here for more about Dr. Neuringer's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Neuringer has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Neuringer has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Summary of Current Research
Our laboratory is currently investigating 1) nutritional and genetic factors in retinal function and disease, and 2) the effects of aging and steroid hormones on sensory and cognitive function: 

1) The macula is the critical region of the retina responsible for high acuity central vision, and is present only in higher primates; age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.  By using the exceptional resource of the Primate Center’s large macaque colony, we have established a nonhuman primate model of this disease and are using it to define both environmental and genetic risk factors. We are examining the roles of omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids as protective nutritional factors, and have identified disease-related genetic polymorphisms.  Together with collaborators from the Casey Eye Institute, we are testing promising new therapies, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy.           
2) The second major focus of the lab is on the effects of aging and ovarian hormones on cognitive and sensory function.  We are testing the effects of both natural and surgical menopause and varying regimens of hormone replacement on visual attention, memory, motor function and circadian rhythms.
Recent Publications
Neuringer M, Sandstrom MM, Johnson EJ, Snodderly DM.  Nutritional manipulation of primate retinas. I. Effects of lutein or zeaxanthin supplements on serum and macular pigment of xanthophyll-free monkeys. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 45:3234-3243,2004.
Leung Y-F, Sandstrom MM, Zucker CL, Neuringer M, Snodderly DM.  Nutritional manipulation of primate retinas. IV. Effects of n–3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin on S-cones and rods in the foveal region.  Exp. Eye Res. 81:513-529, 2005.
Francis PJ, Appukuttan B, Simmons E, Landauer N, Stoddard J, Hamon S, Ferguson B, Klein M, Stout JT, Neuringer M. Rhesus monkeys and humans share common susceptibility genes for age-related macular disease. Human Mol Genetics 17(17):2673-2780, 2008.
Gouras P, Ivert L, Landauer N, Mattison JA, Ingram DK, Neuringer M.  Drusenoid maculopathy in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): Effects of age, gender and caloric restriction. Graefe’s Arch Exp Ophthalmol 246(10):1395-1402, 2008.
Jeffrey B, Neuringer M.  Age-related decline in rod phototransduction sensitivity in rhesus monkeys fed an n–3 fatty acid deficient diet. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, in press 2009.
B.A. cum laude, Harvard/Radcliffe, 1966, Experimental/Physiological Psychology
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1971, Physiological Psychology
Postdoctoral Fellow, ONPRC, 1971-1974, Nutrition, behavior and brain development