Mathematical Biology Seminar

Edward Levine
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Utah

Resolving the Genetic Networks that Drive Mammalian Retinal Development

Wednesday, March 19 , 2014, at 3:05pm
LCB 219

Our laboratory has two primary areas of interest: to characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms of eye development with an emphasis on the retina, and to identify the mechanisms that cause the retinal glia to behave in detrimental ways during the course of retinal injury. We study the mouse retina because its developmental progression is well understood, in vitro and in vivo approaches are well established, and powerful genetic models and tools are available. In this talk, I will describe our recent research investigating how two homeodomain transcription factors, Lhx2 and Vsx2, act as executive-level regulators of eye organogenesis and retinal development. Data will be presented on how these factors interact with each other, with other transcriptional regulators and with extracellular signals to form a dynamic genetic network that drives the progenitor cells of the retina through a robust program of growth and differentiation to produce the seven major retinal cell classes at the correct times and in the appropriate ratios.