Nadean Brown, Ph.D.

4407A Tupper Hall
Davis Campus

Lab Website

Research Interests

My research group uses mouse and in vitro models to investigate the genetic pathways underlying mammalian eye formation. This research will contribute to a better understanding of congenital eye diseases and ultimately inform stem cell therapies to correct vision loss. Currently, our primary research focus is to understand the earliest steps of ocular morphogenesis, optic nerve head formation, and astrocyte specification and differentiation.

Graduate Group Affiliations


Han JS, Fishman-Williams E, Decker SC, Hino K, Reyes RV, Brown NL, Simó S, Torre A. "Notch directs telencephalic development and controls neocortical neuron fate determination by regulating microRNA levels". Development. 2023 Jun 1;150(11):dev201408. doi: 10.1242/dev.201408. Epub 2023 Jun 5. PMID: 37272771; PMCID: PMC10309580.

Bosze B, Suarez-Navarro J, Cajias I, Brzezinski Iv JA, Brown NL. "Notch pathway mutants do not equivalently perturb mouse embryonic retinal development". PLoS Genet. 2023 Sep 26;19(9):e1010928. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010928. PMID: 37751417; PMCID: PMC10522021.


Bosze, B., J. Suarez-Navarro, A. Soofi, J.D. Lauderdale, G.R. Dressler and N.L. Brown. “Multiple Roles for Pax2 in the embryonic mouse eye”. Developmental Biology: Jan 8;S0012-1606(21)00005-1. DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.12.020 PMID 33428890.


Joel B. Miesfeld, Noor M. Ghiasvand, Brennan Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, Eric B. Miller, Pengfei Zhang, Suman K. Manna, Robert J. Zawadzki, Nadean L. Brown, Tom Glaser. “The Atoh7 remote enhancer provides transcriptional robustness during retinal ganglion cell development”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2020, 117 (35) 21690-21700; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2006888117.

Bösze, B., Hufnagel, R.B. and N.L. Brown (2020). “Specification of Retinal Cell Types” in Patterning and Cell Type Specification in the Developing CNS and PNS: Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience Second Edition; Editors, John Rubenstein and Pasko Rakic. pp. 481-504.

Bosze B, Moon MS, Kageyama R, Brown NL. “Simultaneous Requirements for Hes1 in Retinal Neurogenesis and Optic Cup-Stalk Boundary Maintenance”. J Neurosci. 2020 Feb 12;40(7):1501-1513. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2327-19.2020. Epub 2020 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 31949107.


Miesfeld, J.B. and N.L. Brown (2019). "“Eye Organogenesis: A hierarchical view of ocular development””, Current Topics in Developmental Biology: Organ Development, Editor Deneen Wellik. Vol 132: 351-393.

P.T. Lam, S.L. Padula, T.V. Hoang, J.E. Poth, L. Liu, C. Liang, A.S. LeFever, L.M. Wallace, R. Ashery-Padan, P.K. Riggs, J.E. Shields, O. Shaham, S. Rowan, N.L. Brown, T. Glaser, M.L. Robinson. (2019) “Considerations for the Use of Cre Recombinase for Conditional Gene Deletion in the Mouse Lens”. Human Genomics:13:10.

Azimi, M. and N.L. Brown (2019) “Jagged1 protein processing in the developing mammalian lens”. Biology Open: 8: bio041095.


Baker, N.E. and N.L. Brown (2018) “All in the Family: Proneural bHLH genes and neuronal diversity”. Development: 145: dev159426.

Maurer, K.A., A.M. Kowalchuk, F. Shoja-Taheri and N.L. Brown (2018) “Integral bHLH Factor Regulation of Cell Cycle Exit and RGC Differentiation”. Developmental Dynamics: Epub ahead of print: doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24638

Kowalchuk, A.M., K.A. Maurer, F. Shoja-Taheri, N.L. Brown (2018) “Requirements for Neurogenin2 during mouse postnatal retinal neurogenesis”. Developmental Biology: Jul 24 pii: S0012-1606(17)30608-5 Epub ahead of print.

Miesfeld, J.B*., M-S. Moon*, A.N. Riesenberg, A. Reyer, R.A. Kovall and N.L. Brown (2018) “Rbpj is a direct regulator of Atoh7 transcription in the embryonic mouse retina. Scientific Reports:Jul 5;8(1):10195
(*Co-first authors)

Azimi, M., T.T. Le and N.L. Brown (2018) “Presenilin gene function and Notch signaling feedback regulation in the developing mouse lens”. Differentiation: Jul 25;102:40-52 Epub ahead of print.


Miesfeld, J.B., T. Glaser and N. L. Brown, “The dynamics of native Atoh7 protein expression during mouse retinal histogenesis, revealed with a new antibody”, Gene Expression Patterns: 2017 Dec 7;27:114-121.

Riesenberg, A.N., K.W. Conley, T.T. Le and N.L. Brown, “Separate and coincident expression of Hes1 and Hes5 in the developing mouse eye”, Developmental Dynamics: Epub 2 Aug17; Vol 247: 212-221 (Jan 2018).

Zhang Q, Zagozewski J, Cheng S, Dixit R, Zhang S, de Melo J, Mu X, Klein WH, Brown NL, Wigle JT, Schuurmans C, Eisenstat DD. “Regulation of Brn3b by DLX1 and DLX2 is required for retinal ganglion cell differentiation in the vertebrate retina”. Development. 2017 May 1;144(9):1698-1711. doi: 10.1242/dev.142042. Epub 2017 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 28356311.


Riesenberg, A.N. And N.L. Brown (2016) “Cell autonomous and nonautonomous requirements for Delltalike1 during early mouse retinal neurogenesis”. Developmental Dynamics 245: 631-40.


Maurer, K.A, Riesenberg, A.N. and N.L. Brown (2014) “Notch signaling differentially regulates Atoh7 and Neurog2 in the distal mouse retina”. 2014 Development: 141: 3243-3254.


Hufnagel, R.B., A.N. Riesenberg, J.A. Brzezinski IV, M. Quinn, T. Glaser and N.L. Brown, “Heterochronic misexpression of Ascl1 in the Atoh7 retinal cell lineage blocks cell cycle exit”. 2013 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience: In Press

Hufnagel, R.B. and N.L. Brown. “Specification of Retinal Cell Types”, in Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience; Editors, John Rubenstein and Pasko Rakic. 2013 Oxford: Elsevier: In Press.


Saravanamuthu, S.S., T.T. Le, C.Y. Gao, C. Liu, C. Radu, P. Pandiyan, J. Zhang, P.S. Zelenka and N.L. Brown. “Conditional ablation of the Notch2 receptor in the ocular lens”. 2012 Developmental Biology 362: 219-29.

Le, T.T., K. Conley, T.J. Mead, S. Rowan, K.E. Yutzey and N.L. Brown. “Requirements for Jag1-Rbpj mediated Notch signaling during mouse lens vesicle development”. 2012 Developmental Dynamics 241: 493-504


Charlton-Perkins, M., N.L. Brown, and T.A. Cook. “The Lens in Focus: A Comparison of Lens Development in Drosophila and Vertebrates”. 2011 Molecular Genetics & Genomics 286: 189-213.


Prasov, L, Brown, NL and Glaser, T. “A critical analysis of Atoh7 (Math5) splicing in the developing mouse retina”. 2010 PLoS One. Aug 5(8):e12315.

Macgregor S, Hewitt AW, Hysi PG, Ruddle JB,Medland SE, Henders AK, Gordon SD, Andrew T, McEvoy B, Sanfilippo PG, Carbonaro F, Tah V, Li YJ, Bennett SL, Craig JE, Montgomery GW, Tran-Viet KN, Brown NL, Spector TD, Martin NG, Young TL, Hammond CJ, Mackey DA. “Genome-wide association identifies ATOH7 as a major gene determining human optic nerve size”. 2010 Human Molecular Genetics. 340: 490-503.

Hufnagel RB, Le TT, Riesenberg AL, Brown NL. “Neurog2 controls the leading edge of neurogenesis in the mammalian retina”. 2010 Developmental Biology 340: 490-503.


Riesenberg AN, Liu Z, Kopan R, Brown NL. “Rbpj cell autonomous regulation of retinal ganglion cell and cone photoreceptor fates in the mouse retina”. 2009 Journal of Neuroscience 29: 12865-77.

Riesenberg AN, Le TT, Willardsen MI, Blackburn DC, Vetter ML, Brown NL. “Pax6 regulation of Math5 during mouse retinal neurogenesis”. 2009 Genesis 47:175-187.

Le TT, Conley K, Brown NL. “Jagged1 is necessary for normal mouse lens development”. 2009 Developmental Biology 328:118-126.

Willardsen MI, Suli A, Pan Y, Marsh-Armstrong N, El-Hodiri H, Chen CB, Moore KB, Brown NL, Vetter ML. “Temporal regulation of Ath5 gene expression during eye development”. 2009 Developmental Biology 326:471-481.

Fuhrmann S, Riesenberg AN, Mathiesen AM, Brown EC, Vetter ML, Brown NL. “Characterization of a transient TCF/LEF-responsive progenitor population in the embryonic mouse retina”. 2009 Invest Ophth Vis Sci. 50:432-440.


Rowan S, Conley K, Le TT, Donner AL, Maas RL, Brown, NL. “Notch signaling is required for mouse lens growth and differentiation”. 2008 Developmental Biology. 321:111-122.

Blackburn DC*, Conley K*, Plachetzki D, Kempler K, Battelle BA, Brown NL. “Isolation and expression of Pax6 and atonal homologues in the American Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus”. 2008 Developmental Dynamics 237:2209-2219.


Hufnagel RB, Riesenberg AN, Saul SM, Brown NL. “Conserved regulation between Math5 and Math1 as revealed by Math5-GFP transgenes”. 2007 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 36:435-488.

  • Human Architecture and Function, Histology Discipline
  • National Institute of Health