The Marclab is off to ARVO 2019 and eager to share some of what we’ve been up to over the past year. We have undergraduate Jeebika Dahal presenting her work on the AII Amacrine Cell Connectivity Changes In Degenerating Retina on Sunday (see poster B0013 Abstract Number: 551 – B0013). Undergraduate Selena Wirthlin will present her work on the Comparative Anatomy and Connectivity Of The AII Amacrine Cell In Mouse And Rabbit Retina on Sunday (poster B0010 Abstract Number: 548 – B0010). Undergraduate and US Navy veteran Jessica Garcia will present her work Sunday on OFF-layer Branches Of ON Cone Bipolar Cells In Early Retinal Degeneration (B0017 Abstract Number: 555 – B0017). And postdoc Crystal Sigulinsky will present her work on Coupling Architecture Of The Aii/ON Cone Bipolar Cell Network In Degenerate Retina in a platform presentation on Thursday at 11:15am (Abstract Number: 6441).
The annual ARVO meeting is almost here and we are in full preparation mode for the meeting. This image shows postdoc Rebecca Pfeiffer (@BeccaPfeiffer19) with undergraduate (and US Navy veteran) Jessica Garcia preparing data for presentation.
One of the undergraduates in the lab, Selena Sullivan has been working on an exciting project in the lab in the realm of comparative anatomy. She will be presenting this work at this year’s ARVO conference, exploring how different cells of a single type are between species in terms of morphology and synaptic and gap junctional connectivity.
One of the undergraduates in the lab, Jessica Garcia is seen here annotating conectomes in the lab prior to her presentation at this years ARVO conference. Jessica came to us by way of service with the US Navy, and in our lab is exploring the OFF-layer branches of ON cone bipolar cells in early retinal degeneration. This is important work as we are unraveling how circuitry in the retina changes in neurodegenerative disease.
Super-resolution microscopy is a pretty big thing right now. But there is more than one way to get super-resolution microscopy results. There are a variety of approaches, most involving expensive new microscopes that preclude many scientists from participating in science that allows them to ask certain questions. However, if they have access to a standard transmission election microscope and have antibodies that are glutaraldehyde tolerant, they can participate and ask questions that allow them to get around some of the inherent limitations imposed by physics.
In the image above for example, we have GABA labeling in green superimposed upon ultrastructural data showing us *which* processes in the inner plexiform layer of the retina are GABAergic. Many of these processes are smaller than the wavelength of light.
There are multiple ways to get here of course with some very expensive microscopes offering dual light and electron microscopy approaches and yet other microscopes offering purely optical based solutions. However, this is cheap and easy and accessible to many with the basic electron microscopy resources. Robert Marc first used this approach in back in 2000, and we subsequently used it for quite a bit of work for my Ph.D. dissertation in 2003, and notably in this paper. It is also an integral technique associated with our connectomics efforts.
That said, I’ll need at some point soon to find the resources to get a traditional optical super-resolution microscopy solution to answer some questions we have in the lab on neural degenerative disease.
It is time to say goodbye to a workhorse that has been a part of a tremendous amount of retinal science to make room for a new instrument that will help us expand our workflow. See more over on Jonesblog.
The Marclab for Connectomics is off to RD2018 and ISER 2018 in Killarney, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland. I’ll be organizing sessions on retinal degeneration, and I’m tremendously proud of the work Dr. Crystal Sigulinsky will be presenting from her work on gap junctional connectivity in retinal degenerations and the work Dr. Rebecca Pfeiffer (@BeccaPfeiffer19) will be presenting on her work on the retinal pathoconnectome in two talks on bipolar cells and Müller cells.