Seminar Title: Glaucoma in mice: new tools, new insights, new questions
Time: 3 p.m. via Zoom
Speaker Bio: Benjamin J. Frankfort, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. He was an undergraduate at Duke University and received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a fellowship in glaucoma surgery at the Cullen Eye Institute of Baylor College of Medicine. He continued his research training as a K08 recipient under the supervision of Dr. Sam Wu at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Frankfort’s research focuses on the impact of eye pressure changes on the visual system. His lab uses a variety of techniques to assess anatomic, physiologic, and molecular changes in injured rodent tissue with resolution ranging from single cells to whole organs. Dr. Frankfort currently holds an R01 and R21 from the National Eye Institute and maintains funding from several foundations. As faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Frankfort is highly active in the education of medical students, graduate students, residents, clinical fellows and post-doctoral fellows, and is the Co-Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).
Seminar Summary: Glaucoma is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and the optic nerve. Despite its wide prevalence and importance as a major public health issue, the earliest changes that occur in glaucoma remain a mystery, hindering early diagnosis and treatment options. In the later stages of glaucoma, RGC regeneration, optic nerve regrowth, and vision restoration techniques are in their infancy.
We will present new techniques developed in the Frankfort lab to study both early glaucoma phenotypes and RGC regeneration. Using the bead injection model of intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in conjunction with a new vascular assessment workflow, we determined that retinal capillary plexi are differentially susceptible to elevated IOP. Using a series of improvements to RGC immunopanning techniques and optimized FACS, we established a novel system of primary RGC isolation from adult mouse retinas with subsequent culture. With it, we observed robust neurite outgrowth which occurs according to several stereotypical stages.