Valery I. Shestopalov, Ph. D.
- Professor of Ophthalmology
- Secondary Appointment in Cell Biology and Anatomy
Neurobiology of Retinal Disease, Glia-neuron Crosstalk in Neurodegeneration, Cell Communication in the Retina and Lens, Ocular Surface Microbiome
The Shestopalov Lab seeks to cure eye pathologies through deep understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying disease initiation and progression. Our research is broadly focused on ocular pathologies leading to ganglion cell degeneration in the retina. Experimental evidence shows that complex network of interactions between glial cells, neurons and inflammatory cells in the retina become severely affected by injuries, ischemic and inflammatory pathologies. We explore the paradigm that therapeutic restoration of homeostatic signaling networks suppresses damage from injuries and facilitates recovery in cells and tissues affected by pathological factors. We detect affected pathways using high throughput molecular approaches, functional genomics and bioinformatics. This new knowledge is critically important in designing new treatments: key regulators of such pathways, identified by the analysis, are tested as potential drug targets.