Tara Tovar-Vidales Ph.D.
Our research goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms occurring in glaucoma. Our laboratory utilizes multiple molecular biology methods to understand the mechanisms occurring in healthy and glaucomatous optic nerve head (ONH) cells. Understanding these molecular mechanisms may provide new and novel therapeutic targets for glaucoma.
Role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in pathologic fibrosis in the glaucomatous optic nerve head.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. In glaucoma, there is increase extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling of the ONH. The ONH astrocytes and lamina cribrosa cells synthesize ECM proteins to support the ONH. However, in glaucoma, these cells cause detrimental changes to the ONH. We want to understand the regulation involved in glaucomatous ECM remodeling of the ONH. We will examine the expression of miRNAs in normal and glaucomatous ONH astrocytes and lamina cribrosa cells to determine which miRNAs are associated with glaucoma. This project will identify pro-fibrotic and anti-fibrotic miRNAs that regulate ECM and ECM related proteins in the glaucomatous ONH.
- Rajiv Rangan (Graduate student)