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T: 859-218-3540 |





Megan   was  chosen  for   a  platform   presentation  at   the   experimental  biology  meeting!



The conference was cancelled due to COVID19 pandemic, however, Megan was able to record her presentation which can be found on the EB website and here:




Oliver   was   chosen   for   a  platform   presentation   at   the   2020   ARVO meeting!


The conference was cancelled due to COVID19 pandemic, however, Oliver was able to record his presentation which can be found on the ARVO website.






Oliver's  knights  templar  eye  foundation  career  starter  grant  was  renewed!


Oliver was granted another year of funding to continue his work on single cell transciptomic analysis of anterior segment development. Way to go Oliver!






Oliver   was  awarded a  neuroscience  research  priority  area  pilot  grant !


The NRPA pilot grant is going to help Oliver continue his investigation into the transcriptomic underpinnings of anterior segment mesenchyme development as well as focus on examining several exciting new candidate genes that likely drive key aspects of anterior segment mesenchyme function and specification.






3rd  lab  paper    published!


Kristyn L. Van Der Meulen, O. Vocking, M.L. Weaver and J.K. Famulski. Spatiotemporal characterization of anterior segment mesenchyme heterogeneity during zebrafish ocular anterior segment developmentFrontiers: Developmental and Cell Biology. May 27, 2020. 








This manuscript aims to provide the first comprehensive characterization of periocular mesenchyme cells which migrate and colonize the anterior segment of the developing eye. Using a combination of single cell transcriptomics and in vivo confocal time-lapse imaging we have determined that anterior segment mesenchyme comprise of several distinct subpopulations with unique migration and distribution patterns. Furthermore, we characterize these subpopulations based on their unique transcriptomic profiles. This work paves the way for better understanding how and when the anterior segment progenitors arrive, specify and ultimately give rise to functional components of the anterior segment while also providing new gene targets for expanding anterior segment dysgenesis etiology.

4th  lab  paper    published!


Megan L. Weaver, W.P. Piedade, N.N. Meshram and J.K. Famulski. Hyaloid vasculature and mmp2 activity play a role during optic fissure fusion in zebrafish. 2020. June 23, Scientific Reports.








This work outlines our novel discovery that optic fissure fusion involves precise regulation of both angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors. Using a combination of transcriptomic, real-time imaging and confocal microscopy we show that endothelial vascularization of the eye through the optic fissure drives fissure fusion and is regulated by Pax2a. In particular we identify that hyaloid vasculature is a source of the basement membrane remodeling enzyme mmp2 which is necessary for optic fissure fusion. This work further supports a long-held hypothesis in the field that hyaloid vasculature is directly involved in optic fissure fusion

5th  lab  paper    published!


Piedade WP, Titialii-Torres K, Morris AC, Famulski JK. Proteasome-Mediated Regulation of Cdhr1a by Siah1 Modulates Photoreceptor Development and Survival in ZebrafishFront Cell Dev Biol. 2020 Nov 23;8:594290. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.594290. eCollection 2020.










This manuscript outlines the finding that a photoreceptor specific cadherin, Cdhr1a, is post translationally regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Siah1. Furthermore, genetic manipulation of Siah1 activity reveals that in the absence of adequate levels of Cdhr1a photoreceptor progenitor cells are susceptible to cell death leading to an overall reduction in cone and rod cells. As such, this work outlines a novel proteasome-dependent pathway involved in vertebrate photoreceptor development and possibly maintenance.

Warlen  graduates  with   his   PHD!


August 2020: Warlen Piedade successfully defended his PhD thesis and is now going to start a postdoctoral position at Harvard University studying zebrafish heart regeneration. CONGRATS and all the best Warlen!






Famulski Lab zebrafish retinal development