Optogenetic Disease Modeling
The eye is an organ with an inherent optical system. By exploiting this optical system and expressing light-sensitive molecules that can control cellular processes, we are developing systems to optically control biological processes in the retina. For example, we are employing reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating proteins to allow optogenetic control of oxidative stress in retinal cells as a model of AMD. Further applications of this technology include optical tuning of gene expression using light-sensitive transcription factors.