Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of neuronal development and regeneration, and to utilize gained knowledge in developing translational approaches for repairing injured central nervous system (CNS) circuits.
An image of immature retinal ganglion cell neuron from Dr. Trakhtenberg's research, adapted for a cover page of the International Review of Neurobiology volume on Axon Growth and Regeneration (Goldberg & Trakhtenberg, Eds, 2012, Vol 106: Academic Press).
Dr. Trakhtenberg received Spotlight recognition at the BrightFocus Foundation, which funds his research on investigating novel gene therapy approach towards developing neuroregenerative treatments for restoring vision after certain types of glaucoma and other types of optic neuropathies.
Bruce Rheaume, MD/PhD Candidate, won Biomedical Science Program Mentorship Award for outstanding mentorship by a student in the biomedical science program.
Dr. Trakhtenberg was awarded a 2 million 5-year R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health's Eye Institute (NEI) to investigate how small non-coding RNAs regulate retinal ganglion cell maturation and to utilize their potential for regenerating the optic nerve axons damaged in optic neuropathies.
Dr. Trakhtenberg and Dr. Wu were awarded a Research Excellence Program Grant by The Office of the Vice President for Research, UConn School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine.
Our lab published in Scientific Reports that the extent of non-atrophic extra-axonal tissue damage determines the success of experimental axon regeneration targeting neuronal intrinsic mechanisms.
Dr. Trakhtenberg has received Artificial Intelligence Molecular Screen (AIMS) Award, Atomwise Inc (San Francisco, CA) .
An MD-PhD student, Bruce Rheaume, presented a poster from the lab, "Axotomized adult retinal ganglion cells stimulated by extrinsic cues in a permissive environment survive and regenerate axons", at the international annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) in Washington, DC.
Dr. Trakhtenberg’s awards and his lab were featured in UConnToday news.
Dr. Trakhtenberg (lead PI) and Dr. Crocker (co-PI) were awarded a seed grant by the Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBaCS). The grant will fund a research project to test a novel hypothesis regarding why axonal connections, through which neurons in the brain communicate with each other over long distances, do not regenerate after traumatic or stroke injury.
Dr. Trakhtenberg was awarded a research grant by the BrightFocus Foundation under the National Glaucoma Research Program. The grant will fund a research project aimed at investigating novel gene therapy approach towards developing neuroregenerative treatments for restoring vision after angle-closure glaucoma and other types of optic neuropathies, which lead to complete or partial blindness.
Dr. Trakhtenberg was selected by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development to participate at the Interstellar Initiative for “the world's most promising Early Career Investigators”, where along with a collaborator, Dr. Kumiko Hayashi, they won First Place Award for a research solution proposal in the field of neuroscience.
Graduate Rotation Student
Projects in the lab revolve around fundamental questions in neuronal development and regeneration in the CNS. We integrate cutting edge molecular, biochemical, genetic, bioinformatics, and translational approaches, which involve:
- Histology and neuroanatomical analysis using confocal microscopy
- Rodent CNS in vivo injury models and gene therapy
- Neuronal cell culture and transfection
- Next-generation sequencing and neuro-bioinformatics