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Research Goals

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.

rgc

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).

NEWS

March, 2017

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.

First Place Award for a research solution proposal in the field of neuroscience is presented to Dr. Trakhtenberg, UConn Health, and Dr. Kumiko Hayashi, Tohoku University, by Ellis Rubinstein,  President of the NY Academy of Sciences, and Makoto Suematsu, President of The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development.

April, 2017

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. Optic neuropathies, such as those caused by angle-closure glaucoma result in blindness primarily because they disrupt axonal connections between the eye and the brain. These axonal connections originate in eye neurons called retinal ganglion cells, and run through the optic nerve to pass visual information into deep regions of the brain. When these neuronal connections are disrupted the eye cannot pass the information to the brain, resulting in blindness. The research project proposes to develop a novel method for regenerating disrupted axonal connections between the eye and the brain in order to reverse blindness caused by angle-closure glaucoma and other types of optic neuropathies.

 

 

 

CURRENT OPENINGS

Postdoctoral Fellow
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