Retinal precursor cells provide an important opportunity for treating retinal injuries and degenerations. Professor Viczian is interested in retinal stem cells and has recently found that primitive ectoderm, isolated from frog embryos prior to gastrulation, can be directed to retinal precursor cells capable of differentiating into every cell type necessary to form a functional eye. The goal of the Viczian lab's current project is to adapt our innovative approach to a mammalian system with the long-term objective of generating precursor cells in vitro capable of restoring visual function.
Viczian AS, Bang AG, Harris WA, Zuber ME. Expression of Xenopus laevis Lhx2 during eye development and evidence for divergent expression among vertebrates. Dev Dyn. 2006 Apr;235(4):1133-41.
Viczian, A. S., Verardo, M., Zuber, M. E., Knox, B. E. & Farber, D. B. Conserved transcriptional regulation of a cone phototransduction gene in vertebrates. FEBS Lett 2004 Nov;577(1-2): 259-264.