Molecular Mechanism of Ganglion Cell Death in Glaucoma

Robert Nickells, PhD
Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (Madison, WI)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 1999 to March 31, 2001
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Midwestern

Molecular Mechanism of Ganglion Cell Death in Glaucoma


Susceptibility to glaucoma may be governed by multiple genes affecting different parts of the eye, for example, genes affecting intraocular pressure in the anterior part of the eye. However, damage to the eye in the form of neuronal cell death is the critical event leading to blindness, and Dr. Nickells' long-range goal is to identify genes that contribute to the survival of ganglion cells under various conditions, including conditions that may mimic human glaucoma. To simplify the search for these genes, he proposes that strains of mice need to be developed that can be easily measured for changes in ganglion cell number. He is working to develop mice that express a marker gene that can be used to rapidly screen for the phenotype of ganglion cell variation. These mice can then be used for identifying the genes affecting ganglion cell survival.


Li Y, Schlamp CL, Poulsen KP, Nickells RW. Bax-dependent and independent pathways of retinal ganglion cell death induced by different damaging stimuli. Exp Eye Res, 71:209-213, 2000.  

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