Our research focuses on vertebrate eye development, disease modeling and regeneration utilizing the zebrafish as a model system. Combining forward genetic screens with reverse genetic and embryological manipulations we hope to understand the molecular, cellular and developmental events that regulate eye formation and visual function, ocular diseases and regenerative responses. Current areas of interest in the lab include studies focusing on the development of the retina, lens and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), elucidation of the cellular mechanisms that regulate ocular morphogenesis, and the molecular regulation of retina and RPE regeneration. Our research combines molecular, cellular, biochemical, transgenic and in vivo imaging techniques to address these questions. It is our hope that these studies will ultimately lead to a better understanding of visual system disorders such as macular degeneration, cataracts and ocular colobomata that often result in blindness in afflicted patients, and the development of new therapeutic interventions. Finally, we also have an interest in evolution of the eye and have recently initiated studies in squid to address this topic.
Koenig K, Sun P, Meyer E, JM Gross “Cell Fate Determination During Eye Development in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii” Development Sep 1;143(17):3168-81 (2016)
James AE, Lee C, Williams A and JM Gross “The Hyaloid Vasculature Facilitates Basement Membrane Breakdown During Choroid Fissure Closure in the Zebrafish Eye” Developmental Biology 419 262-72 (2016)
Hanovice NJ, Daly CMS and JM Gross “N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor b (nsfb) is required for normal pigmentation of the zebrafish retinal pigmented epithelium” Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science – 56(12):7535-44 (2015)
Hartsock A, Arnold V, Lee C and JM Gross “In Vivo Analysis of Hyaloid Vasculature Morphogenesis in Zebrafish: A role for the lens in maturation and maintenance of the hyaloid.” Developmental Biology - 394(2):327-39 (2014)