Stem and pluripotent progenitor cells have the ability to differentiate into specialized cells. A retinal stem/progenitor cell for example, may differentiate into a rod cell, a retinal ganglion cell, or any of the five other cell types of the mature retina. Retinal stem cells are also self-renewing. These characteristics make retinal stem and pluripotent retinal cells ideal for use in cell replacement therapies for treating blinding diseases. Professor Zuber's laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms driving the specification, proliferation and differentiation of retinal stem and progenitor cells. Zuber's goal is to identify factors necessary to reprogram more plentiful non-retinal cells to sight saving retinal cells
Viczian AS, Solessio EC, Lyou Y, Zuber ME. Generation of functional eyes from pluripotent cells. PLoS Biol. 2009 Aug;7(8):e1000174.
Zuber ME, Gestri G, Viczian AS, Barsacchi G, Harris WA. Specification of the vertebrate eye by a network of eye field transcription factors. Development. 2003 Nov;130(21):5155 67.
Viczian AS, Vignali R, Zuber ME, Barsacchi G, Harris WA. XOtx5b and XOtx2 regulate photoreceptor and bipolar fates in the Xenopus retina. Development. 2003 Apr;130(7):1281 94.
Zuber ME, Perron M, Philpott A, Bang A, Harris WA. Giant eyes in Xenopus laevis by overexpression of XOptx2. Cell. 1999 Aug;98(3):341 52.