About the Horsager Lab
Visual sensation and perception are the processes in which we see and understand the world around us. This begins with a layer of cells in the eye that is only hundreds of microns thick - the retina. When the photoreceptors of this thin layer of neural tissue die from disease, sight is lost, a devastating process that afflicts over 2 million people within the US alone. There are currently no FDA approved treatments to restore sight to these patients.
The primary focus of the Horsager Lab is to develop novel gene therapies for the treatment of blindness due to photoreceptor disease. Our research is motivated by the need for therapies that are both broadly applicable and allow for precise neuromodulation, thus restoring naturalistic visual processing independent of the underlying cause of retinal disease. In addition, we have two supporting lines of research that are more basic in nature: 1) understanding how gene regulatory networks are modulated in normal, diseased, and treated states, and using these data to develop synthetic molecular tools to target transgene expression to specific tissue types, and 2) understanding how circuit-specific neuromodulation is integrated within the retina and its subsequent impact on visual perception.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund - Alan Horsager receives BWF CASI Award (2011) [BWF]
Men's Health - How to See Into the Future (2011) [Men's Health]
New Scientist - Genes from algae allow blind mice to see (2011) [New Scientist]
Reuters - New gene therapy restores sight to blind mice (2011) [reuters]
Entrepreneur Magazine - Entrepreneurs, it's up to you (2010) [entrepreneur]
Keck Research Update - Horsager receives Baxter Foundation Junior Faculty Award (2010) [usc]
Technology Review - Gene therapy to make cells sensitive to light takes a step towards clinical use (2009) [technologyreview]