My laboratory is interested in the physiology, neurocircuitry, and development of the mammalian retina under normal and pathological conditions. Our current research focuses on (1) mechanisms of visual signal processing in the retina with an emphasis on neuronal interactions and synaptic circuits underlying complex visual processing, such as spatial contrast sensitivity and uniformity, direction selectivity, orientation selectivity, and other forms of visual computation; (2) functional correlation of retinal cell classification, connectomics, and transcrptomics, with an emphasis on the visual responses of and functional connectivity among anatomically identified bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cell types in the retina; (3) mechanisms of synaptic transmission and co-transmission of dual neurotransmitters (glutamate-glycine and ACh-GABA) between identified retinal neurons, (4) mechanisms underlying spontaneous rhythmic activity in the developing retina and activity-dependent visual system development, (5) mechanisms of ocular diseases and restoration of visual functions in animal and in vitro (stem-cell derived retinal organoid) models. Our experimental approaches include single and dual patch-clamp recording from identified neurons and synaptically connected neuron pairs in the whole-mount retina, together with optogenetics, laser photolysis, and two-photon dendritic imaging using genetically encoded calcium and neurotransmitter sensors. Also used in the lab are methods for in vivo genetic transfection (electroporation and viral infection), multielectrode array recording, and computational modeling.
Specialized Terms: visual physiology and development of the mammalian retina; functional organization of retinal synapses and circuits; mechanisms of ocular diseases.
Neurobiology; Ophthalmology; Physiology; Retina; Retinal Diseases