P. Vasanth Rao, PhD, Principal Investigator
Research in this laboratory focuses on two areas of ocular diseases- cataract and glaucoma. As it relates to lens biology, we are investigating the cytoskeletal signaling pathways critical for lens development and function. A specific focus in this broad area of research is to elucidate the role (S) played by small GTP-binding proteins of the Rho and Rac family, in signaling pathways important in normal lens architecture, maturation, and function, and in processes underlying cataractogenesis. These studies are conducted in both in vitro and in vivo models, using a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches.
In the context of glaucoma, we are exploring to address the cellular mechanisms involved in homeostasis of intraocular pressure and aqueous humor drainage. This laboratory is currently studying the cellular signaling pathways that control cell morphology, cell adhesive interactions, extracellular matrix synthesis and organization, and contractile properties of the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork comprises the major tissue of aqueous outflow pathway and represents the site of regulation of aqueous humor drainage.