Ph.D. Candidate Pursues Research
To Cure Vision And Brain Disorders
In this video, Tommy Apara, a doctoral candidate working in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg, a BrightFocus-supported glaucoma researcher, discusses research into why cells in the eye fail to regenerate and how this could lead to new therapies for brain and vision disorders.
Akintomide (Tommy) Apara, Ph.D. Candidate
My name is Tommy Apara and I am a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg.
We work on retinal ganglion cell degenerative diseases. So these are diseases that affect the retinal ganglion cells, which are the extremely important cells in the eye that carry information about the visual space back toward the brain.
Our lab studies the intrinsic or cell-autonomous reasons that could limit a neuron's ability to regenerate following injury. So these are factors that are intrinsic to the neurons themselves, and that change over development.
And particularly, I study a family of transcription factors that play an important role in a neuron's intrinsic capacity to regenerate.
Question: Has the National Glaucoma Research grant program at BrightFocus made an impact on your research?
Because of this funding I've been able to go deeper into the question of how does this family of transcription factors, which we know are named Kruppel-Like Factors, how do they actual work and how do they play a role in affecting a retinal ganglion cell's ability to regenerate.
We hope to be able to extrapolate that knowledge we learn from the eye into other parts of the central nervous system that could affect other diseases like Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.
Original Post Date: April 2012
Last Review: 04/28/13