We are currently investigating the signal transduction pathways whereby growth factors including FGF, BMP, and TGFβ regulate the fate and function of lens cells both in normal development and in disease. We are particularly interested in posterior capsule opacification (PCO), the most common (90,000 - 300,000 new cases annually in the U.S.) vision-disrupting complication of cataract surgery. PCO is caused by abnormal differentiation, proliferation, and migration of lens cells remaining after cataract surgery. We have discovered that certain compounds in current clinical use against cancer block multiple PCO-causing processes in our primary lens cell system, and have developed methods to deliver these drugs from the artificial lenses that are implanted during cataract surgery. We are very excited about translating our findings into a human therapeutic with the potential to preserve the vision of millions worldwide. We are also interested in continuing our studies on the biosynthesis, assembly, and degradation of gap junction in the lens and other organs.
Areas of interest
- Prevention of blinding complications of cataract surgery. Growth factor-mediated signaling in the lens and its application to disease. Folding, transport, assembly, and degradation of gap junction proteins.
- B.S., Duke University, Durham North Carolina United States 1980
- Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Missouri United States 1987
- Postdoctoral Fellow (Laboratory of JP Merlie, Ph.D.) Department of Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine
- Postdoctoral Fellow (Laboratory of DA Goodenough, Ph.D.) Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School
- Instructor in Cell Biology, Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School
Memberships and associations
- International Society for Eye Research
- Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology