frontiers in vision research

We welcome David M. Berson, PhD, Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Chair of Neuroscience at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, as he presents: “Retinal Circuits For Visual Reflexes”


About Dr. Berson’s Research:

The nervous system extracts and encodes different features of the visual world to accomplish specific tasks. Spotting a familiar face in a crowd requires different information than hitting a fastball or judging the ripeness of fruit from its color. Different “channels” of visual information emerge already at the retinal level and are then routed to distinct visual centers of the brain. We seek to understand how retinal cells and circuits process and filter visual information in specific channels, and how these signals are used by the brain to shape appropriate visual behaviors.

We welcome David Antonetti, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology from Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan, as he presents:

Blood-Retinal Barrier Regulation in Diabetic Retinopathy: New Insight and Opportunities.” 


We hope you will join us for this exciting discussion. Please RSVP for the event by emailing Jenny Priebe:

About Dr. Antonetti’s Research:

Our long-term goal is to contribute to the development of novel treatments to prevent or reverse the debilitating loss of vision from diabetes. Our current research focuses on understanding how the blood-retinal barrier normally develops in the retina and how to restore normal barrier properties in diseases like diabetic retinopathy. This research has led our team to develop methods to regenerate normal retinal vascular function in models of diabetes. Ultimately, these studies may provide a path for the development of therapies to restore the blood-neural barrier in a variety of diseases including diabetic retinopathy or brain tumors.


Dr. Antonetti received his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at The Penn State College of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Leonard Jim Jefferson and was a post-doctoral fellow in Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School under the direction of Dr. C. Ronald Kahn. Upon returning to Penn State, he was one of the first to bring high-level signal transduction expertise to the problem of diabetic retinopathy and the blood-retinal barrier. Over the last 20 years, he has become one of the world’s leading experts in mechanisms of vascular permeability in diabetic retinopathy, the role of the blood retinal barrier in normal physiology, and the molecular mechanisms that underlie angiogenesis and neovascularization. These efforts have allowed him to develop new experimental treatments that show promising pre-clinical results. He has received awards including the Jules Francois Prize for Young Investigator at Ophthalmologia Beligica, the Hinkle Society Mid-career Translational Research Award, and the Most Inspirational Teacher Award for graduate education at Penn State. He also holds the very prestigious Jules and Doris Stein Professorship from Research to Prevent Blindness. His work has been noted by presentations at key meetings such as the American Diabetes Association, the International Symposium of the Blood-Brain Barrier, Gordon Research Conferences, and the International Symposium on Signal Transduction at the Blood-Brain and Blood-Retina Barriers. Of particular note, his translational impact has been recognized by clinicians by his presentations at the American Uveitis Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the ARVO Vision Innovation and Venture forum, and the University of Pittsburgh, Washington University, and Trinity College in Dublin.


Dan Stamer Duke Eye Center“Restoring conventional outflow function: the next generation of glaucoma therapeutics”

Presented by W. Daniel Stamer, PhD from Duke University, Department of Ophthalmology and Albert Eye Research Institute

Program Agenda

3:00pm – Refreshments

3:30pm – Presentation

About Dr. Stamer’s Research

My laboratory studies the disease of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, affecting nearly 3 million people (70 million Worldwide). The primary risk factor for developing glaucoma is ocular hypertension (high intraocular pressure, IOP). IOP is a function of aqueous humor moving into and out of the eye.  Elevated IOP in glaucoma is a result of disease in the primary efflux route, the conventional outflow pathway, affecting proper drainage of aqueous humor.

Controlling IOP in glaucoma patients, whether or not they have ocular hypertension, is important because large clinical trials involving tens of thousands of patients repeatedly demonstrate that significant, sustained IOP reduction slows or halts vision loss. Unfortunately, current daily medical treatments do not target the diseased conventional pathway and do not lower IOP sufficiently in most people with glaucoma. Therefore, finding new, more effective ways to medically control IOP by targeting the conventional pathway is a central goal the Stamer Laboratory.

Using molecular, cellular and organ-based model systems, my laboratory seeks to identify and validate novel drug targets in the human conventional outflow pathway such that novel treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma can be developed.