• Jeff Gross, PhD

    Associate Professor, Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin

    Research: “A Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Choroid Fissure Morphogenesis in the zebrafish eye”

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Jeff Gross was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and in 2011 was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. He is a member of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology and the Institute for Neuroscience, and he is the Chair of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at UT Austin.

    Support from the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation was instrumental in launching the research career of Dr. Jeff Gross as he started his lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Research in the Gross lab utilizes the zebrafish, Danio rerio, to understand normal eye development and congenital disorders that affect formation of the eye. Of particular interest to them is how the ventral optic cup forms during early eye development and how defects in the process lead to colobomas in human patients. Taking advantage of the power of the zebrafish system for performing unbiased genetic screens, Gross’ lab has identified numerous “mutant” zebrafish lines that present with visual system defects, several of which possess colobomas. They are in the process of identifying the affected genes in the coloboma lines and determining how they normally function during zebrafish eye formation. Ultimately, they hope that by utilizing the zebrafish to generate ocular disease models and identify underlying disease mechanisms, their research will contribute to the generation of therapies to ameliorate blinding conditions associated with these disorders.


    2011Bibliowicz J, Tittle RK and JM Gross , Towards a better understanding of human eye disease: insights from the zebrafish, Danio rerio, Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology.
    2011Rachel K. Tittle, Ryan Sze, Anthony Ng, Richard J. Nuckels, Mary E. Swartz, Ryan Anderson, Justin Bosch, Didier Y.R. Stainier, Johann K. Eberhart and Jeffrey M. Gross, Uhrf1 and Dnmt1 are required for zebrafish lens development, Developmental Biology 350:50-63.
    2010Uribe, RA and JM Gross, Id2a influences neuron and glia formation in the zebrafish retina by modulating retinoblast cell cycle kinetics, Development 137:3763-3774.
    2009Bibliowicz J. and JM Gross, Expanded progenitor populations, vitreo-retinal abnormalities, and Müller glial reactivity in the zebrafish leprechaun/patched2 retina, BMC Developmental Biology 9:52.
    2009Ng A, Uribe RA, Yieh L, Nuckels R and JM Gross, Zebrafish mutations in gart and paics identify crucial roles for de novo purine synthesis in vertebrate pigmentation and ocular development, Development 136(15):2601-11.
    2009Nuckels RJ, Ng A, Darland T and JM Gross , The Vacuolar-ATPase Complex Regulates Retinoblast Proliferation and Survival, Photoreceptor Morphogenesis and Pigmentation in the Zebrafish Eye, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 50:893-905.
    2009Brown JD, Dutta S, Bharti K, Bonner RF, Munson PJ, Dawid IB, Akhtar AL, Onojafe IF, Alur RP, Gross JM, Hejtmancik JF, Jiao X, Chan WY, Brooks BP , Expression profiling during optic fissure closure identifies two Nlz genes with a critical role in fissure closure, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:1462-7.
    2008Lee J, Willer J, Willer GB, Smith K, Gregg R and JM Gross , Zebrafish blowout provides genetic evidence for Patched1-mediated negative regulation of Hedgehog signaling within the proximal optic vesicle of the vertebrate eye, Developmental Biology 319:10-22.
    2007Lee J. and JM Gross, Laminin Beta 1 and Gamma 1 Containing Laminins are Essential for Basement Membrane Integrity in the Zebrafish Eye, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 48:2483-2490.
    2006Fairbank P, Lee C, Ellis A, Hildebrand JH, Gross JM and JB Wallingford , Shroom2 (APXL) regulates melanosome biogenesis and localization in the retinal pigment epithelium, Development 133:4109-4118 .

Copyright ©2011 E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind