The long-term goal of research in our lab is to contribute to healthy human vision. To this end we study photoreceptors in the eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila , which has emerged as a powerful model system for the study of retinal development and disease. Despite important differences, the eyes of humans and flies employ shared genetic and molecular mechanisms. The ability to manipulate fly eyes using genetic, molecular and cellular tools enables studies that cannot be performed in any other animal. For example, in a recent collaboration with Dr. Ulli Tepass at the University of Toronto, we have shown that a protein, Crumbs, which when mutant in humans puts individuals at risk for Retinitis Pigmentosa, is essential for the photoreceptor membrane organization. This observation sets the stage for additional studies in Drosophila which can examine what other proteins interact with Crumbs and how these proteins together support normal photoreceptor development and maintenance. In time, an understanding of these protein networks and how to manipulate them will aid the design of rational therapies for human retinal disease and injury.
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1976
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, October 3-7, 2001. Presented research – neurobiology of Drosophila.
- Gordon Conference on Visual System Development, Newport, Rhode Island, June 9-14, 2002. “Where do trapezoids come from?” Dr. Ready was a discussant and gave an invited talk; Sue Karagiosis presented a poster, “Moesin is critical for rhabdomere morphogenesis in the developing Drosophila retina.” Served as a discussant. Poster presentation: “Moesin is critical for rhabdomere morphogenesis in the developing Drosophila retina,” by Sue Karagiosis.