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
OXT-OXTR Pathway Active in Posterior Retina
Oxytocin Expression and Function in the Posterior Retina: A Novel Signaling Pathway
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
Travel grants go to Bikash Pattnaik and Meha Kabra to attend biennial eye research meeting in Australia
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery with a joint appointment in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and Meha Kabra, PhD, research associate in Pattnaik’s lab, were …March 7, 2023
Investigators collaborating on new R01 from National Eye Institute
Congratulations to PI Ismail Zaitoun, PhD, associate scientist, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS), and Co-Investigators, Nader Sheibani, PhD, professor, DOVS, Christine Sorenson, PhD, distinguished scientist, Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, and Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, professor, Neonatology and Newborn …October 14, 2021
Researchers awarded ICTR grant to improve diagnosis of HIE
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Principal Investigator, associate professor, Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, along with Co-PI, Pelin Cengiz, MD, professor, Critical Care, were awarded a $50,000 Basic and Clinical Translational Research Pilot award from the UW Institutive of Clinical and …July 28, 2021
Bikash Pattnaik and collaborators receive grant from Spotlight Therapeutics
Co-Principal Investigators, Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, associate professor, Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, and Krishanu Saha, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Co-Investigator Pawan Shahi, PhD, assistant scientist,Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, received a six-month $76,352 award from Spotlight Therapeutics for their project, …July 20, 2021
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