Jeremy N. Kay, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Neurobiology, Department of Ophthalmology
Institution
Duke University
Address
Box 3802
City, State, Zip
Durham, NC 27710
Phone
(919) 613-4769
E-mail
jeremy.kay[at]duke.edu
Website
http://sites.duke.edu/kaylab/
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2014

Research

My research explores how cells in the retina make the proper connections during development of the embryo. The first step in the brain’s processing of vision occurs in the retina, where a variety of specialized cells are “wired” into circuits that carry out a specific task—detecting color or sensing motion, for example. These circuits form during development, as cells within the retina reach out to connect with the correct partner—a critical process that, when defective, results in a loss of vision. Using advanced techniques in cell biology, molecular genetics, genome analysis and microscopy, we will focus on the retinal circuit that detects motion and determine which of its constituent cells take the lead in establishing the right connections, attracting some partners while rejecting others. Our goal is to then identify the attractive and repulsive signals responsible for guiding the formation of this circuit—findings that will shed light on the processes that govern the proper wiring of the retina, and could lead toward novel strategies for the treatment of visual impairment and blindness.