The Brian Hafler Lab
Molecular pathways leading to neurodegeneration in human disease
Our data (Menon et al., 2019 Nature Comm, Mathys et al. 2019 Nature, Kuchroo et al., 2021, bioRxiv) based on single cell analysis of healthy retinas and diseased retinas with macular degeneration and glaucoma indicate that the key inflammatory pathways reside in specialized glial cells known as astrocytes, Muller glia, and microglia. Our novel machine learning pipeline identified neuroinflammatory cytokines that promote disease progression, cause vision loss, and provide a genetic context to target these cell types and signaling pathways as a novel disease therapeutic to prevent vision loss in people suffering from these diseases. Most of our research is performed using human tissue, mouse, and glial cell cultures.