Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central vision impairment amongst the elderly in the Western World and is becoming increasingly prevalent World-wide.
Our lab is focused on investigating the cellular and molecular pathogenic mechanisms underlying the three clinical subtypes of AMD. We are driven by a desire to further understand signaling pathways critical in initiation and progression of AMD and hopefully identify therapeutic targets for this debilitating degenerative disease. Two major lines of investigation currently being followed concomitantly include (1) elucidating the role of lipid-mediated injury of retinal pigment epithelial cells and how this injury promotes pathogenic changes in Bruch’s membrane and drusen formation, key features of the dry AMD subtype, through activation of the nuclear receptors peroxisome proliferator activated receptors and liver-X receptors and (2) investigating the role of the xenobiotic responsive aryl hydrocarbon receptor in regulating cellular metabolism in two other subtypes of AMD, geographic atrophy and neovascular AMD.
Education and Training
- University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ph.D. 2002
- University of Alabama at Birmingham, Postdoctoral Trainee, Research
Selected Grants and Awards
- Organization and Function of Cellular Structure
- Targeting signaling pathway of a lipid activated nuclear receptor for the treatment of dry AMD
- Testing Gene Therapy in Models of Geographic Atrophy
- LXR as a novel therapeutic target in diabetic retinopathy
- The role of a macrophage chemotactic factor in AMD
- Lipid Activated Nuclear Receptors in Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Immune Responses in Macular Degeneration