Alberta Vision Net brings together researchers at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary to advance the understanding and treatment of ocular disease. With investigators from more than ten Departments, our network integrates ophthalmology and molecular biology with the following major objectives:
- To foster fundamental and translational research to improve understanding and treatment of disease
- Explore high impact novel research ideas, that offer the realistic prospect of fresh therapeutic approaches
- Provide a rich cross-disciplinary environment and so offer outstanding training for fellows, residents and students
A recently published paper in PLoS Genetics (Hocking et al., March 2018) is the culmination of a long-standing collaborative project by two AVN labs (PIs: Ordan Lehmann and Andrew Waskiewicz). The group identified eight patients with tissue gaps in the superior portion of the iris, retina, and/or lens – a novel congenital disease the researchers termed Superior Coloboma. By using zebrafish to revisit ocular development, the authors discovered the superior ocular sulcus, a transient groove bisecting the dorsal retina and the potential origin of superior coloboma. Moreover, they showed how patterning cues control formation and closure of the sulcus and its developmental function in directing growing ocular blood vessels.
Telodendria are delicate structures that connect photoreceptor cells to one another and allow for information to be shared laterally between them. Despite their discovery in the late 19th century, telondendria are not widely known or well characterized in vision science. Nicole Noel recently studied these poorly understood features of photoreceptors in the zebrafish retina during her Master’s thesis in the Allison lab. Her work has now been published in the Journal of Comparative Neurology, with one of her beautiful photos featured on the issue cover.Read More
Alberta Vision Net is made possible by generous support from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.