Research in the Brockerhoff lab focuses on unanswered questions pertaining to the cell biology and signaling of retinal cone photoreceptors. We use a combination of genetic, molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological and imaging techniques. In one project, we are analyzing mechanisms of cell death in a zebrafish mutant in which cone photoreceptors specifically degenerate due to a mutation in the pde6c gene. We are conducting a genetic screen for extragenic suppressors of cell death. In a second project, we are analyzing protein/vesicular trafficking defects associated with a disruption of PIP2 homeostasis. One of our recent findings is that increases in PIP2 levels cause vesicle accumulation within the inner segment. In a third project, we are investigating the role of atypical cadherins in inhibitory modulation of cone signaling. We have molecular and physiological data demonstrating the important role amacrine cells play in this process.
Contact Dr. Brockerhoff to discuss these and other potential projects in more detail.