Cycle for Sight riders raise funds to support research conducted by UW-Madison’s McPherson Eye Research Institute to prevent, treat and cure blinding diseases. Please help us fundraise to support eye research here at UW-Madison! To donate, please click "Support Ikeda Lab" under the retina image. Thank you!
In the Ikeda Lab, our research program is divided into two broad areas aimed at understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate (1) aging of the neural tissue and (2) control of cell proliferation. Both processes involve fundamental biological questions that remain to be solved and both have important connections with human disease. The experimental system for most of our studies is the mouse eye, which offers a number of advantages: The eye is not a vital organ so mutations affecting the processes of interest can be identified and studied throughout the entire span of development. The well-organized structure and easy accessibility of the eye facilitate experimental analyses. At the same time, because the cells present in the eye (e. g. epithelial cells, neurons) are representative of cell types present in other organs, information gained from studies on the eye can reveal cellular mechanisms of general significance. In general, our studies utilize a forward genetic approach, beginning with mutants that manifest phenotypes of interest. A major advantage of this phenotype-driven approach is that it offers the potential of identifying previously unknown genes and molecular pathways that regulate a process of interest. After a gene/protein of interest has been identified, we aim to unravel the pathway by which it normally acts whose disruption results in the observed phenotype.
Over the past years, we have used these approaches to identify and characterize several genes of interest and to begin to elucidate the pathways through which they operate. Our immediate future goals are to obtain a more detailed understanding of these pathways to advance our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate neuronal aging and cell proliferation.
|Denotes a Team Captain|