netbook
desktop
mobile
tablet-landscape
tablet
phone-landscape
phone
Research to Prevent Blindness

Mapping the Circuits of the Retina

RPB Career Development Award recipient Gregory W. Schwartz, PhD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has published a finding that opens the door to improving retinal prosthetic devices, targeting treatments to restore damaged retinal circuits, and improving early detection of retinal diseases.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. "More generally, our work will provide a template for brain mapping efforts throughout the nervous system," says Schwartz.


Video, courtesy Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, produced by Sarah Plumridge.

By employing a combination of established and novel techniques to measure connectivity and function in retinal neural circuits, Dr. Schwartz has made detailed circuit models to predict the response of the target cell to various visual stimuli. As part of his team's work, they have discovered many new retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types, for which they are seeking to identify unique genetic markers.

"Dr. Schwartz is a uniquely talented computational neuroscientist who has very novel ideas concerning the circuitry of the retina," said Nicholas J. Volpe, MD, Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "I believe this work will set a new standard for our understanding of how information is processed in the retina. The retinal circuitry maps that Dr. Schwartz produces will greatly facilitate our national mandate for brain mapping efforts throughout the central nervous system."

"RPB is extremely pleased that our Career Development Award to Dr. Schwartz helped him lay the groundwork for his recent, prestigious, five-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue this important work," adds RPB President Brian F. Hofland, PhD. "This is precisely the kind of outcome we envisioned in establishing this grant."

Visit the Schwartz lab.

Read the full story.

Read the study.

Read more about RPB Grants.

Related News: Artificial Vision, Feature Story, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Retina Disorders , Top Story

Research to Prevent Blindness Expands Grants Program

Many of the organization’s individual grants will now be open to researchers at any U.S. academic medical center.

Read More

 

Study Tests Stem Cell-based Therapy for Advanced Dry AMD

RPB-supported researchers at the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute conducted the human trial.

Read More

 

The National Eye Institute Turns 50

RPB celebrates five decades of sight-saving discoveries at NEI.

Read More

 

Vision Funders Collaborate for Impact

RPB hosted its fifth annual convening of organizations that fund vision research in Washington DC.

Read More

 

RPB and AAO Announce New Grant Opportunities to Support Vision Research

Partnership to utilize IRIS Registry database to advance patient care.

Read More

 

Subscribe

Get our email updates filled with the latest news from our researchers about preventing vision loss, treating eye disease and even restoring sight. Unsubscribe at any time. Under our privacy policy, we'll never share your contact information with a third party.