Currently, our research is focused on the development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RGCs are the only neurons to extend axons out of the eye into the optic nerve, and are the final output cells of the retinal circuit. We are attempting to understand the signaling that leads to RGC production and integration into the neural circuitry of the visual system. Our model is Xenopus laevis, where we take advantage of in vitro and in vivo approaches that make this system amenable to systematic functional exploration. Since proteins and how they function are conserved across species, this research may eventually lead to therapies to reconnect damaged optic or brain nerves. My research program explores how extrinsic and intrinsic signals influence RGCs and their axons.
Lab MembershipsMcFarland Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Genes and Development Research Group
University of Calgary
3330 Hospital Drive N.W.
T2N 4N1, Canada