Gareth Thomas, PhD

 I first became fascinated by biology during my undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge. I became particularly interested in intracellular signaling and therefore joined the laboratory of Sir Philip Cohen at the University of Dundee to pursue a PhD in this area. During this time I became especially interested in cell signaling in the nervous system and therefore carried out postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Rick Huganir at John Hopkins University. Much of my postdoctoral research focused on physiological signaling in healthy neurons, but in my own laboratory I became very interested in how different signaling pathways might control the balance between degeneration and survival in pathological conditions.  Most recently I have become particularly interested in roles of such pathways in progression of glaucoma and my lab expended considerable time and effort to develop experimental models of this disease. I am truly grateful to the BrightFocus Foundation and its donors for supporting our research and providing a means for my laboratory to begin to address key questions in this new and exciting area.