Franklin Echevarria, Ph.D.

Franklin Echevarria, Ph.D.

Neuroscience, 2017

PI: Rebecca Sappington, Ph.D.

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Case Western University

Laboratory of Richard Zigmond, Ph.D.

Role of IL-6 in the Progression of Glaucoma

I work in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Sappington looking at the effect of neuronal-glial signaling in glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Vision loss in glaucoma is attributed to the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and their axons and is often associated with elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP). Although glaucoma primarily targets RGCs, glial cells, which are responsible for supporting RGC health, may be involved in disease onset and development.  Currently, I’m focused on interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine released by glial cells with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties, and its impact on RGC health and the progression of glaucoma in vivo.