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
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, assistant professor, Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, received a $106,823 award from Hubble Therapeutics for his project, “Assessment of ocular function in KCNJ13 conditional knockout mice administered subretinal HUB-101 and assessment of expression of …May 6, 2021
Congratulations to three members of the Pattnaik Research Group who were awarded travel grants for upcoming conferences. Allison Spillane, graduate research assistant, was selected for the Sarla P. Kothary Memorial Travel Grant to present her poster, “Preclinical …April 11, 2021
Using a new approach to target genetic mutations, eye researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Iowa are developing and testing a new therapy for restoring vision in children and adults with severe …February 19, 2021
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, and Co-Principal Investigators, Shaoqin “Sarah” Gong, PhD, Biomedical Engineering and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, David Gamm, MD, PhD, Department of Visual Sciences and Ophthalmology, and Christopher Ahern, PhD, University of Iowa, recently …February 3, 2021
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery), has been awarded a $69,096 Fall Research Competition grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) for his one-year …January 5, 2021
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