Daniel Kerschensteiner, M.D.

Professor
Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Neuroscience

Neurosciences Program
Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

Research Abstract:

To goals of our research are (1) to understand how neural circuits process information, (2) to uncover the principles and mechanisms that guide their development, (3) to develop approaches to preserve and restore circuit function in neurodegenerative diseases. Our efforts concentrate on the retina and its subcortical targets. We analyze visual processing in successive neurons of visual pathways using patch-clamp, multielectrode array, and in vivo silicone probe recordings. We generate genetic and viral tools to label and manipulate specific neurons and analyze their contributions to downstream responses and visually guided behaviors in mice. In collaboration with Dr. Josh Morgan, we study visual processing and circuit organization at a subcellular level by combining two-photon imaging with 3D electron microscopy. We explore molecular mechanisms that guide circuit development and maintenance and translate our insights into approaches to restore vision to circuits disrupted by retinal degeneration and glaucoma. In support of these translational goals and to understand how we see the world, we pioneered functional studies of the human retina.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
The Kerschensteiner lab is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for everyone regardless of race/ethnicity, nationality, ancestry, socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, and marital/parental status. We believe that science is enriched and enhanced by diverse perspectives and are excited to train scientists from all traditional and non-traditional backgrounds.

Selected Publications:

Johnson KP, Fitzpatrick MJ, Zhao L, Wang B, McCracken S, Williams PR, Kerschensteiner D. Cell-type-specific binocular vision guides predation in mice. Neuron 2021 Mar 19.

Kim T, Shen N, Hsiang JC, Johnson KP, Kerschensteiner D. Dendritic and parallel processing of visual threats in the retina control defensive responses. Science Advances 2020 Nov 18.

Soto F, Hsiang JC, Rajagopal R, Piggott K, Harocopos GJ, Couch SM, Custer P, Morgan JL, Kerschensteiner D. Efficient coding by midget and parasol ganglion cells in the human retina. Neuron 2020 Jun 3.

Shen N, Wang B, Soto F, Kerschensteiner D. Homeostatic plasticity shapes the retinal response to photoreceptor degeneration. Current Biology 2020 May 18.

Soto F, Tien NW, Goel A, Zhao L, Ruzycki PA, Kerschensteiner D. AMIGO2 scales dendrite arbors in the retina. Cell Reports 2019 Nov 5.

Soto F, Zhao L, Kerschensteiner D. Synapse maintenance and restoration in the retina by NGL2. Elife 2018 Mar 19.

Johnson KP, Zhao L, Kerschensteiner D. A pixel-encoder retinal ganglion cell with spatially offset excitatory and inhibitory receptive fields. Cell Reports 2018 Feb 6.

Johnson RE, Tien NW, Shen N, Pearson JT, Soto F, Kerschensteiner D. Homeostatic plasticity shapes the visual system’s first synapse. Nature Communications 2017 Oct 31.

Hsiang JC, Johnson KP, Madisen L, Zeng H, Kerschensteiner D. Local processing in neurites of VGLUT3-expressing amacrine cells differentially organizes visual information. Elife 2017 Oct 2.

Kim T, Kerschensteiner D. Inhibitory control of feature selectivity in an object motion sensitive circuits of the retina. Cell Reports 2017 May 16.

Tien NW, Soto F, Kerschensteiner D. Homeostatic plasticity shapes cell-type-specific wiring in the retina. Neuron 2017 May 3.

Last Updated: 8/16/2021 10:57:35 AM

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