• Ruth Ashery-Padan, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Research: “Investigating the molecular basis of visual system development”

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Ashery-Padan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. She is also a member of the School of Neuroscience of Tel Aviv University and member of the organizing board of the Israel Society of Developmental Biology.

    The support of the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation was critical for the research conducted in Ashery-Padan’s laboratory at Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. A major topic of research in the laboratory is to elucidate the roles of the transcription factor Pax6 in eye development. Pax6 is essential and sufficient for eye formation in vertebrates and invertebrates species and is pivotal for the development of the CNS, olfactory system and the pancreas. Carriers of Pax6 mutations suffer from aniridia, a panocular disease that includes iris hypoplasia, corneal opacification, cataract, foveal dysplasia. Most of the patients with aniridia develop glaucoma.

    The group employs state of the art functional studies in vivo combined with gene arrays, biochemical and cell culture studies of transcription factor activity on target genes. The group has revealed the roles of Pax6 in progenitor cells of the retina, lens, iris and ciliary body. To pinpoint the tissue type sensitive to Pax6 dosage in relation with development of high ocular pressure and glaucoma phenotype the group conducted genetic dissection of Pax6 dosage requirement in the developing eye. These studies revealed that Pax6 dosage in lens and cornea abrogates development of the drainage structures of the eye and lead to ganglion cell loss.

    Recent studies of Ashery-Padan further provide novel insight into the functions other lineage transcription factors, signaling pathways and microRNAs in the coordinate development of neuronal and non-neuronal ocular structures. These achievements are important for understanding normal development and disease conditions that lead to vision loss.

    Visit: http://asherypadan.medicine.mytau.org/manuscripts/

Copyright ©2011 E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind