Timothy Cherry, PhD

Dr. Cherry is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine and a Principal Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute in the Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Originally from Nebraska, Tim studied genetics and linguistics as an undergraduate College Scholar at Cornell University. Tim then trained in the genetics of human brain malformations in the lab of Christopher A. Walsh at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. He went on to obtain his doctorate from Harvard University, while conducting research on the development of the retina under the mentorship of Constance Cepko, Ph.D. in the Dept. of Genetics. Tim then trained as a postdoctoral fellow, studying mechanisms of gene regulation in neural development and disease with Michael E. Greenberg in the Dept. of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Tim’s current research focuses on how poorly understood genetic variation shapes the development, function, and disorders of the visual system. His research goals are: 1) To elucidate the genetic regulation of visual function. 2) To uncover genetic mechanisms that contribute to visual disorders. 3) To develop novel approaches to treat or correct vision loss. To achieve these goals the Cherry lab takes advantage of naturally occurring genetic variation between individuals and across species, using high throughput genomic and epigenomic approaches to distinguish between deleterious and benign genetic variants. This strategy is revealing new insight into the genetic basis of visual disorders and provides a blueprint for rebuilding a functional visual system to restore vision that has been lost to disease.