Willing to Mentor

    Available to Mentor:

    PhD/MSTP Students, Post-Baccalaureate Students, Health Professions (Medical, OT, PT, Dental, Audiology, etc.) Students, Postdocs, Residents and Fellows

    • 1624

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    The major goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the functional development and regeneration of the vertebrate visual system and elucidate how disruption of the developmental mechanisms leads to visual dysfunction.

    Vision is an essential experience for maintaining the quality of our daily life as its impairment severely compromises social interaction and independence. Our vision starts at the retina, the thin neural tissue at the inner surface of the back of the eye that captures visual scenes and sends the visual information to the brain. The retina is not a homogeneous array of neurons, but rather they contain areas of specialization that detect different visual information and therefore serve distinct visual requirements. This is exemplified in the small central part of the retina called the fovea. In humans and other primates, visual perception – with its appearance of rich and detail across most of the visual field – is predominantly driven by the information originating from a tiny high-acuity region of the fovea. However, despite the importance of this small part of the retina to our vision, the fovea and its surrounding area, the macular, are particularly prone to degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. In fact, macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment in the US. However, it is still unclear why degeneration disproportionally affects the fovea. Our research focuses on

    Uncover developmental mechanisms for building the fovea. This is a key first step for understanding how the fovea is different from the periphery and why the fovea is more susceptible to degenerative diseases.
    Identify biological processes that cause degeneration in the macula.
    Discover new model animals for studying eye diseases.

    Education activities and interests

    Science outreach is my passion outside of the lab. Together with two postdoc colleagues at that time, I have established a not-for-profit organization to teach and train biomedical science in West Africa. This research facility, Biomedical Science Research and Training Centre (BioRTC - www.BioRTC.com) is located in Yobe state, Nigeria. I visit and teach on-site workshops every year. I also supervise research projects remotely. We are recruiting scientists at any level who share our vision of promoting biomedical science in Africa, where resources are severely deprived, but home to the most diverse and welcoming people. 

    Research interests

    I'm interested in mentoring trainees at various levels. This includes post-bacs, grad students, post-docs, and fellows. In my lab, I encourage the trainees to develop and lead their own projects with support from myself and other lab members. 

    Available to Mentor:

    • PhD/MSTP Students
    • Post-Baccalaureate Students
    • Health Professions Students
    • Postdocs
    • Residents and Fellows


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