Department of Neuroscience

FischerAndrewProfessor
Department of Neuroscience
College of Medicine

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Phone: 614-292-3524
Lab: 614-292-1226
Fax: 614-688-8742
Email: fischer.412@osu.edu
 
Research Lab: Fischer Lab

Research Interests: In general terms, Dr. Fischer's lab studies neural development, regeneration and survival. In particular, the lab focuses on the development, regeneration and survival of cells in the neurosensory tissue of the eye, the retina. The lab studies retinal regeneration from neural stem cells and from the major support cells of the retina, the Müller glia.

The use of stem cells for neuron replacement and trophic support holds the potential to treat degenerative diseases of the central nervous system. Dr. Fischer's work has demonstrated that the mature chicken retina contains a zone of neural stem cells at the peripheral edge of the retina that is capable of proliferating and generating neurons at increased rates with the application of growth factors. In addition, he has demonstrated that mature Müller glia in the retina can become neuron-producing retinal precursor cells in response to acute damage or growth factors.

Current Research:
Ongoing projects include:

  1. Mechanisms that control the proliferation and differentiation of retinal stem cells
  2. Mechanisms that regulate the maturation of the support cells of the retina, the Müller glia
  3. Mechanisms that cause Müller glia to de-differentiate, proliferate, become retinal stem cells and produce new neurons

Research Techniques: Dr. Fischer's laboratory uses a variety of techniques to study retinal development, regeneration and survival. Collaborations with other laboratories offer additional training opportunities.

Current projects include the use of: scanning laser confocal microscopy; epifluorescence microscopy; digital image processing and analysis; in situ hybridization; quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR); ultrasound-mediated gene-transfer; virus-mediated gene transfer; gene silencing using siRNA; immunocytochemistry for peptides, neurotransmitters, receptors and structural proteins; tissue culture of dissociated cells and explanted neural tissues; and transplantation of neural stem cells into damaged retinas.

Education:
Degree: University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Postdoctoral: University of Washington, Thomas Reh

Training: BSc – University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; MSc – University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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