David R. Hyde
Phone: (574) 631-8054
Fax: (574) 631-7413
My lab studies the mechanisms underlying development and regeneration in the zebrafish ocular lens and retina. While development is studied in a variety of different vertebrate eyes, the zebrafish retina also possesses a robust regeneration response. Damage to a specific region or class of retinal neurons induces the Muller glial cells in the retina to reenter the cell cycle and generate proliferating neuronal progenitor cells. These neuronal progenitors migrate to the damaged retinal region and differentiate into the missing neurons. The presence of Muller glial cells in the human retina holds the promise that they may also possess the ability to generate neuronal progenitor cells and repair the damage in a variety of different retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Zebrafish has become a powerful model system due to its large brood size (a single female can lay up to 200 eggs in a day), embryonic development occurring outside of the female (which allows for easy isolation and manipulation of embryos), the transparency of the developing embryo to monitor organ development, and their relatively small size. As the Kenna Director of the Center for Zebrafish Research, we are developing state-of-the-art approaches to study and utilize zebrafish in medical research. This includes genetic, molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches. We possess one of the largest zebrafish facilities in the