Cellular and molecular mechanisms of blood-retina barrier formation and maintenance

In the Agalliu laboratory, I primarily focus on the development and maintenance of the blood-retina barrier. On one hand, I study the role of canonical Wnt signaling, specifically the canonical Wnt inhibitor Apcdd1, in these processes. Although canonical Wnt signaling has been shown to regulate barriergenesis in retinal vessels, the precise downstream cellular and molecular mechanisms by which that is achieved is unclear. My study aims to elucidate those unanswered questions, with the ultimate goal of finding novel therapeutic approaches to treat neurovascular disorders. On the other hand, I examine how retinal neuronal activity affects the blood-retina barrier formation. This is one area of neurovascular coupling that has not been explored previously. Thus, my studies have the potential to uncover new mechanistic insights into the interdependency of neural and vascular development.