The vertebrate retina forms from a common pool of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) that give rise to an overlapping but stereotyped temporal birth-order of retinal neurons and the Müller glial cells. The focus of our research group is to understand the cellular and genetic mechanisms by which RPCs: 1) Are selected to exit the cell cycle; and 2) Are specified to generate mature retinal cell types at the appropriate time during development. Using a suite of both moderate to high-throughput techniques including single-cell technologies, we strive to identify new mechanisms controlling retinal development and how these mechanisms may contribute to inherited retinal disorders.
Areas of studies include the regulation of retinal neurogenesis, contributions of long non-coding RNAs to cell fate specification, cis-regulatory sequence activity, and development of new applications to facilitate our research.
UMAP-dimension reduction of single-cell RNA-sequencing of mouse retinal cells across retinal development. Cells are colored by annotated cell type as determined by marker gene expression.
(Clark and Stein-O’Brien, et al., 2019; Neuron)