UROP Fellowship: Biomedical and Life Sciences
Research Mentor(s): Daniel Goldman, PhD and Aresh Sahu, PhD
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Michigan Medicine, Department of Biological Chemistry
Presentation Date: Wednesday, August 4th
Session: Session 3 (5pm-6:20pm EDT)
Breakout Room: Room 1
Although the zebrafish and mammalian retina share structure and function, only zebrafish can regenerate a damaged retina. Key to this regenerative response are Muller glia (MG) that undergo a reprogramming event allowing them to divide and produce multipotent progenitors for retinal repair. Previous studies suggested that thousands of genes are associated with MG reprogramming and retina regeneration. Key among these are Ascl1a (a proneural transcription factor) and Lin28a (an RNA binding protein). Combinatorial induction of these two factors in a damaged retina causes an expansion in the zone of injury-responsive MG; thus, allowing normally quiescent MG near the injury site to engage in a regenerative response. In this project, we aim to understand the mechanism by which Ascl1a and Lin28a stimulate MG reprogramming. We anticipate that these studies will suggest novel strategies for stimulating retina regeneration in mammals.