Primary Faculty/Secondary Faculty

Rebecca Sappington-Calkins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Research Description

Our research interest is neuroinflammation in degenerative disease. The laboratory focuses on the impact of neuronal-glial signaling in glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Vision loss in glaucoma is caused by degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and is often associated with elevated intraocular pressure. Although glaucomatous pathology targets RGCs, glial cells, which support RGC health and function, may also play a role in disease onset and progression. Using a variety of techniques, we examine early events in signal transduction that underlie RGC and glial responses to elevated pressure both in vitro and in vivo. We are currently pursuing interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory cytokine, as a component of RGC-glial signaling that may modulate both glial reactivity and RGC survival in glaucoma.

Selected Publications