Ronald G. Gregg, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair

319 Abraham Flexner Way, HSC-A, Room 616 502-852-5217 502-852-4687 (lab) 502-852-4112 (fax)

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Ph.D., 1984, Biochemistry, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

Research Interests

Synaptogenesis and development in the retina

The long term goal of my research is to understand the molecular events that underlie the formation and function of one of the synaptic layers, the outer plexiform layer (OPL), in the retina. This synapse connects the photoreceptors that collect light and convert it into an electrical signal, to the second order neurons, bipolar and horizontal cells. Early in development the pre- and post-synaptic neurons make contact and begin to form a synapse. This initial contact triggers a series of events that results in a synapse of extraordinary complexity. Three dendrites from post-synaptic neurons invaginate into the axon terminal of the presynaptic cell, which is the photoreceptor in this case. We have discovered a mutant mouse that fails to undergo normal maturation of the synapse and results in night blindness. This model is being used to determine what signals are involved in the maturation of this important synapse.

In a second project, we focus on the molecular components of the signal transduction cascade in the depolarizing bipolar cells. These cells utilize a metabotropic glutamate receptor, GRM6, to modulate the activity of the non-specific cation channel, TRPM1. My lab is investigating how several proteins, GRM6, TRPM1, GPR179, nyctalopin and LRIT3 interact to form a functional

Laboratory Personnel

  • Nazarul Hasan, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor
  • Tim Hoffman - Lab Manager
  • Elizabeth Hudson, MS - Research Associate
  • Velma Shang - Technician