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Thursday, January 08, 2015 - Two Undergraduates Co-Author a Manuscript in an Ophthalmology Journal

Our ability to see relies upon the correct functioning of the retina, comprised of various neuronal cells. Among these, two types are vital: rods and cones, which detect incoming light, and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs, human retina has ~1.25 million cells), which relay light signals to the brain via their long filamentous extensions: axons. Damage to RGCs in the retina and their axons in the optic nerve leads to blindness in glaucoma patients for which there is no permanent cure. In addition, the mechanisms underpinning the degeneration of RGCs under glaucomatous conditions are unclear.

Towards this goal, in a study accepted for publication in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science (IOVS), CBR member Shravan Chintala, along with Nahrain Putris and Mason Geno, two undergraduate students and recipients of 2014 SUPER fellowship at the Eye Research Institute, reported that activation of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) promotes the degeneration of RGs by up-regulating protein levels of the TLR3 down-stream target protein c-Jun-amino-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3).

Putris and Geno are both biochemistry majors and members of the Honors College.



Mason Geno and Nahrain Putris

The research was supported in part by grant EY017853 from the National Eye Institute, on of the National Institutes of Health.