- Research Assistant Professor
Abirami Santhanam, O.D.Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Abirami Santhanam received her doctorate in Biochemistry at the National Taiwan University, Taiwan. She got the opportunity to work with Dr. Steven Wilson from Cleveland Clinic on corneal wound healing and regeneration during her postdoctoral career and has contributed to the understanding of the role of growth factors and receptors in corneal development that are important to treat the pathophysiological conditions that affect the cornea after surgery, infection or trauma. She established the Laser capture-based microdissection technique on the cornea to understand the role of stromal proteins. Then she got the opportunity to work with Dr. John O’Brien on retina regeneration. The regenerative power of Zebrafish combined with single-cell transcriptome analysis provided an excellent system to understand the exciting molecular mechanisms of regeneration in the retina. She has established a Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) model in the zebrafish to understand the regeneration of rod cells that are degenerated in human RP conditions. Currently, her lab is in the process of identifying the key factors that turn on and regulate this regeneration that can be translated into the mammalian system to turn on regeneration successfully. Her long-time research interest is to contribute more towards the understanding of the complex controls and molecular mechanisms in signal transduction pathways involved in vision restoration.