The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Department of Neuroscience
4190 Graves Hall
333 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-292-3524 

FischerLabImageRTFThe Fischer Lab for Molecular and Cellular Developmental and Regenerative Retinal Neurobiology at Ohio State is devoted to the understanding of molecular and cell signaling pathways that influence the ability of support cells in the retina, the Müller glia, to be reprogrammed into progenitors with the capacity to regenerate neurons. The lab, which is part of the Ohio State Neurological Institute, is particularly interested in identifying means to stimulate the formation of proliferating Müller glia-derived retinal progenitor cells. Long-term goals are to determine the precise mechanisms that enhance the neurogenic and regenerative potential of Müller glia-derived progenitor cells. Harnessing the regenerative potential of Müller glia holds the potential to treat sight-threatening diseases of the eye including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma.


Our Team

Our leaders


Andy Fischer, PhD

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Fischer’s lab studies neural development, regeneration and survival. His team focuses on the development, regeneration and survival of cells in neurosensory eye tissue.

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Leo Volkov, BSc

Lab Manager

Ninoshka Mendonca

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Isabella Palazzo

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Colin Quinn

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Natalie Squires

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Lilianna Suarez

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Levi Todd, BSc

Graduate Student Assistant – Neuroscience Graduate Studies


Our leaders


William Bishop, BSc

Medical Student, West Virginia University, 2011

Donika Gallina, PhD

Kanika Ghai, PhD

Scientific Consultant, New York, NY, 2009

Zachary Goodman, BSc

Medical Student, The Ohio State University, 2011

Ghezal Omar, MSc

Research Associate, University of Washington, 2006

Eric Ritchey, OD, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Houston, 2011

Jennifer Stanke, PhD

Lecturer, Akron Children's Hospital, Aultman Hospital College of Nursing, Akron, Ohio, 2009

Lilia Steffenson, BSc

Medical Student, University of Cincinnati, 2012

Chris Zelinka

Graduate Student, Florida State University, 2013

Current Projects

Current Projects

Current Projects

The Fischer Laboratory uses molecular and cellular methodologies to investigate the mechanism underlying the ability of Müller glia to be reprogrammed into Müller glia-derived progenitors cells (MGPCs) with a capacity for neurogenesis in both chick and mouse model systems. Neural regeneration in the fish retina has been known for more than 60 years. Amazingly, the fish retina can be severely damaged, visual acuity lost, but neurons regenerated and functional vision restored several weeks after injury. By comparison, the regenerative potential of MGPCs is greatly diminished in birds, and even further reduced in mammals.

The current focus of the lab is:

  1. To understand the coordination and hierarchy of a network of signaling pathways that influence the formation of proliferation of Müller gli-derived progenitor cells (MGPCs);
  2. To identify factors that influence the ability of progeny produced by Müller glia to differentiate as neurons;
  3. To identify the mechanisms by which reactive microglia regulate the formation of MGPCs;
  4. To comparatively analyze genes involved in the reprogramming of Müller glia into neurogenic MGCPs in fish, birds and mammals.
Recent Publications

Recent Publications

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