Davide Ortolan, PhD

Dr. Davide Ortolan is a first-year postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kapil Bharti’s lab at the National Eye Institute. The focus of his research is to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for retinal degenerative disease. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and his master’s degree in Molecular Biology of the Cell at the University of Milan, Italy. His master’s thesis focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that initiate genetic prion disease. Dr. Ortolan obtained his PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy, through a partnership with Dr. Bharti’s lab at the National Eye Institute. During his PhD, Dr. Ortolan discovered the heterogeneity of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) in the human eye and in animal models with the goal to understand the mechanisms underlying regional RPE degeneration in retinal diseases. His current work is a natural continuation of his PhD studies, trying to reproduce the central and peripheral human RPE populations using human stem cells to understand better the molecular basis that initiates AMD.