Philip  Williams, PhD

Philip Williams, PhD

Assistant Professor, WashU Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Mechanisms to target for neuronal preservation and repair

The main focus of the Williams’ lab is to investigate strategies to preserve at risk neurons, and to regenerate severed axons in a neurodegenerative environment. The mouse retina is our primary model system, where we study native responses to retinal ganglion cells, and their synaptic partners, to injury and disease. Retinal ganglion cells relay visual information from the eye to the brain, and their axons make up the optic nerve. Importantly, retinal ganglion cells are made up of more than 45 subtypes that display varying survival and regenerative capacities. Our lab is leveraging this diversity to find coping and growth strategies that are endogenous to certain neuronal sub-populations using techniques like in vivo microscopy and next generation transcriptomics. We then use these insights to formulate and test new hypotheses of neuronal survival and regeneration with gene therapy or pharmacological manipulations.

More about the Williams lab