Daniel Kerschensteiner, MD

Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Visual systems neuroscience and vision restoration Read More

Email: kerschensteinerd@wustl.edu
Lab Phone: (314) 747-5625
Website: Kerschensteiner Lab
Lab Location: McMillan 109
Keywords: physiology, imaging, behavior, genetic and viral engineering, human neuroscience, vision, repair, mathematical modeling

Visual systems neuroscience and vision restoration

The goals of our research are (1) to understand how neural circuits process information, (2) to uncover the principles and mechanisms that guide their development, (3) to develop approaches to preserve and restore circuit function in neurodegenerative diseases.

Our efforts concentrate on the retina and its subcortical targets. We analyze visual processing in successive neurons of visual pathways using patch-clamp, multielectrode array, and in vivo silicone probe recordings. We generate genetic and viral tools to label and manipulate specific neurons and analyze their contributions to downstream responses and visually guided behaviors in mice. In collaboration with Dr. Josh Morgan, we study visual processing and circuit organization at a subcellular level by combining two-photon imaging with 3D electron microscopy. We explore molecular mechanisms that guide circuit development and maintenance and translate our insights into approaches to restore vision to circuits disrupted by retinal degeneration and glaucoma. In support of these translational goals and to understand how we see the world, we pioneered functional studies of the human retina.