Welcome to the Retinal Physiology and Gene Therapy Lab

Our research focuses on light dependent signalling processes in the retina and their role in disease. We are interested in understanding the heterogeneity of the signalling cascades initiated by melanopsin, the recently discovered photopigment of the inner retina. A clear knowledge on the different signalling pathways initiated by melanopsin is of particular relevance, not only to understand its role in image forming and non-image forming vision. Moreover, Melanopsin has also been suggested as an optogenetic tool to restore vision in patients affected by retinal blindness.

Another focus of our research is understanding how modulatory ion channel subunits regulate retinal signal processing and how dysfunction of such modulatory subunits leads to retinal disease. A Particularly exiting example is the silent voltage-gated potassium channel subunit Kcnv2, that is expressed in rod and cone photoreceptors. Mutations in the Kcnv2 gene cause an inherited form of blindness termed Cone Dystrophy with Supernormal Rod Responses (CDSRR). We are trying to understand how and with which other ion channel subunits Kcnv2 interacts and how this may contribute to the increased susceptibility of cones in CDSRR. We hope that this will help us to identify novel approaches to treat this inherited retinal disorder.

The basis of our research is a methodological spectrum spanning from in-silico approaches over immunohistochemistry to ex-vivo and in-vivo electrophysiology. But more importantly, we benefit from a number of inspiring collaborations inside Marburg and Oxford as well as with researchers from other universities.

We are always seeking for highly motivated individuals interested in joining us in our research!