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
Congratulations to the following undergraduate students on their receipt of a UW Sophomore Research Fellowship. Each student will receive $2,500 in unrestricted funding and $500 is awarded to the faculty advisor to cover research expenses …June 27, 2019
A research team led by Bikash Pattnaik, PhD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Investigator, McPherson Eye Research Institute) has shown that two novel approaches to …February 1, 2019
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, was recently awarded a 2-year research grant of $250,000 from Ateres Avigail in support of his project, “Restoration of potassium channel function using mouse models of Lebers Congenital Amaurosis (LCA16) as a …August 1, 2018
Congratulations to Katie Beverley, Graduate Research Assistant in the lab of Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, who was recently selected as a Trainee on the National Institutes of Health-funded T32 Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology (ERP) Training Grant, …July 1, 2018
Krishanu Saha, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), will lead a team of investigators, including Co-PIs Shaoqin Sarah Gong, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, and David Gamm, MD, PhD (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), and other collaborators, to …May 1, 2018
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