Groundbreaking vision research discoveries in the laboratory are essential to advancing therapies for blindness. Dr. Pattnaik is committed to making key discoveries in pediatric blindness conditions that will pave the ground for future therapeutics. Over the years we have made significant progress in our understanding of molecular mechanisms of blindness in children due to either developmental or inherited condition. Our research focus is on cellular communications that are key to life and disease. We discovered a novel cellular signaling pathway between cone photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that utilizes oxytocin in the PR and oxytocin receptors in the RPE cells. This established a role for naturally occurring oxytocin signaling in the eye beyond its involvement in labor and sociability.
Another key focus of our laboratory research is channelopathy, defects in ion-channel proteins, leading to inherited and acquired blindness. Ion channels are integrated in the cell membrane and control the passage of specific ions into or out of cells life-long. RPE cells are present in the back of the eye that nourishes neural retina to maintain its health resulting in our ability to see. We have shown that mutations in RPE inwardly rectifying potassium and chloride channels cause blindness such as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and Best’s disease. We are currently employing several in-vitro (patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells iPSC-RPE) and in-vivo (genetically engineered mouse) models to study cell, tissue, organ, and animal physiology. We use various state of the art techniques like electroretinogram, patch-clamp, biological imaging, molecular and biochemical techniques to repair ion channel defects in the hope to treat blindness.
Recent News & Announcements
Using a new experimental technique to fix faulty eye cells, a team led by UW–Madison researchers was able to repair a gene mutation that causes one form of childhood blindness. The scientists showed that their …October 12, 2023
Pattnaik Lab members receive honors at Scientific Meeting of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
At the recent 16th Biennial Scientific Meeting of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, which occurred August 10–13 in Indianapolis, Indiana, two graduate research assistants in the Pattnaik Lab received top honors in their …September 26, 2023
Sehrish Afsheen and Allison Spillane receive travel awards from Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Two graduate research assistants in the Pattnaik Lab — Sehrish Afsheen and Allison Spillane — received travel grants to attend the 16th Biennial Scientific Meeting of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, …July 17, 2023
Bikash Pattnaik part of cross-campus research group that will develop gene editing therapy to treat blindness
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from UW–Madison recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test a nonviral gene editing drug therapy to treat two hereditary eye diseases. Bikash Pattnaik, …June 14, 2023
Pelin Cengiz awarded grant for non-invasive techniques to characterize eye function of neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Principal Investigator Pelin Cengiz, MD, professor, Division of Critical Care, was awarded a grant for $50,000 from the UnityPoint Health — Meriter Foundation to fund the project “Healthy Little Eyes.” Cengiz joins co-investigators Bikash Pattnaik, …March 7, 2023
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