Steffi Daniel, PhD
I am originally from Goa, India, where I received an Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Zoology as well as a Master’s degree in Biotechnology. Since the beginning of my scientific career, I was intrigued by the eye and passionate about understanding retinal biology and its associated pathologies. As a graduate student at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, I studied neurodegeneration in glaucoma and through my publications, contributed to crucial findings about cell-specific death/survival patterns of retinal ganglion cells in this disease. Extensive experience in the field of ophthalmology and visual sciences for the past decade has given me the knowledge, expertise, and drive to pursue novel and unexplored avenues to better understand retinal disease progression (specifically AMD) and develop treatment strategies. To this end, as a postdoctoral researcher, I have successfully utilized mouse models to understand retinal dynamics of disease associated proteins which can lead to a better understanding of normal vs diseased RPE biology. I also utilize primary, as well as iPSC derived culture systems to generate and examine AMD-associated pathological changes. I firmly believe that the proposed research in this application will help my goals, specifically of transitioning into an independent investigator and bolster AMD research.