Research Summary

The goal of the laboratory’s research is to learn about photoreceptor cells and the associated retinal pigmented epithelium.

 

Dr. Williams conducts cell biological studies of the retina in relation to retinal function and inherited retinal disease.

 

Dr. Williams’ laboratory focuses on the cell biology of photoreceptor and RPE cells. His group is especially interested in cell biological studies of the retina in relation to retinal function and inherited retinal disease.

Basic science investigations in the laboratory include identifying how proteins and organelles are transported and targeted within the photoreceptor and RPE cells. The identification of roles of different motor proteins has advanced the molecular understanding of cellular events, such as disk membrane renewal and associated retinal disease.

The laboratory is also interested in the translation of basic science of the retina to clinical research. Basic studies on myosin VIIa, an unconventional actin-based motor protein, have enabled the establishment of assays for use in preclinical studies on gene therapy for a type of Usher syndrome, an inherited eye disorder that involves both deafness and retinal degeneration. Studies with mutant mice have also led to the development of useful models for retinal degeneration, including age-related macular degeneration.