2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: Yang Sun (Ophthalmology)

“Investigating the Connection Between Glaucoma and Primary Cilia”

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, however, there is no cure and limited treatments. Glaucoma results from the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which have cilia, antenna-like organelles that project from the cell surface and act as a hub for cellular signaling pathways. Defects in cilia localized protein (OCRL) are known to cause a rare disease known as Lowe syndrome in which many patients develop glaucoma. Gisselle proposes to use a compensatory protein to rescue OCRL deficit in a retinal model derived from Lowe patient- stem cells (iPSCs). This work will investigate the efficacy of reducing the development of glaucoma using the compensatory protein.