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Edward M. Levine, Ph.D.

William A. Black Professor of Ophthalmology
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

My laboratory addresses two areas of importance to vision. In the first, we study the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing mouse retinal development, from the initial patterning events of the optic neuroepithelium through specification of cell fate in the proliferative and multipotential retinal progenitor cells and their postmitotic progeny. Our work incorporates multiple genetic models that are helping us to identify the genetic circuitry driving these processes. The second topic is to understand how the resident retinal glia (Muller glia) contribute to the pathological changes associated with retinal disease and injury, and to discover ways to stimulate regeneration from these cells. We are particularly interested in understanding how the Muller glia alter their differentiation program in retinal injury and proliferative vitreoretinopathy as these situations best reveal the complexity of the barriers to regeneration. Through the Audacious Goals Initiative from the National Eye Institute, we have begun a screen to identify novel factors that promote regenerative properties in adult mouse Muller glia in vivo. Our research incorporates mouse genetics, cell and tissue culture, analyses of protein and nucleic acid expression, imaging, and examination of cellular behavior.