Seminar: Polarity, Signaling and Cross-talk In The Outer Retina

Enrique Rodriguez Flyer

Enrique Javier Rodriguez-Boulan, Charles and Margaret Dyson Professor Professor of Cell Biology, Neurosciences and Physiology at the Margaret Dyson Vision Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College will be delivering a seminar on Polarity, Signaling and Cross-talk In The Outer Retina on Wednesday, April 8th at Noon in the the Moran Eye Center auditorium.

Abstract: The polarized structure and function of Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) is key to all of its retinal and choroid supporting functions, as well as for its roles in retinal development. Some of the mechanisms responsible for the reversed polarity of RPE have recently emerged. For example, we have shown that RPE cells lack a basolateral sorting adaptor present in most other epithelial cells. Recent work also suggests that RPE cells play a key role in the terminal differentiation and maintenance of photoreceptors and choroid. I will discuss a project we recently started that aims to build an in vitro model of the outer retina, initially focusing on co- culturing RPE and choroid endothelium. Finally, I will discuss the development of a drug that binds and removes lipofuscin bisretinoids from RPE with the ultimate goal of providing a new therapeutic angle for lipofuscin-induced retinal degenerations

Evo Devo Connectomics Of Sensory Circuit For Visual Navigation

EvoDevo vision

There is an interesting paper from an evo devo perspective out of the Jékely laboratory, looking at the connectomics of some of the earliest of organized visual systems in the Platynereis dumerilii larva.  They have described a visual circuit consisting of 71 neurons and 1,106 “connections”.  The cool thing about this study was that they were also able to combine behavioral experiments with ablations revealing the ability to detect spatial light, directing movement or taxis in the direction of the light.

Its too bad I did not visit with them last time I was in Tübingen as it would have been good to talk connectomics and techniques with them.  I am encouraged that they used serial section transmission electron microscopy to perform circuit level analysis as we think its the right approach for circuit level analysis, though I worry that the resolution was too low to image gap junctions, though they did mention looking for them.  Regardless, I would have loved to see their setup and talked with them.