Centre for Eye Health Seminar: "The pathoconnectomics of circuit remodeling in retinal degeneration"

Thursday, 29 March, 2018 - 13:00


Our friends and colleagues at the Centre for Eye Health will host Associate Professor Bryan Jones from the University of Utah on Thursday 29 March 2018. This seminar will be held at UNSW from 1pm - 2pm. Associate Professor Jones will present on "Retinal Degeneration and Remodeling in RP and AMD". Students, staff, welcome to attend. Relevant details are as follows:

Date: Thursday 29 March 2018

Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Location: New South Global Theatre (K-G14-127) - see campus map here

Title of Presentation: "The pathoconnectomics of circuit remodeling in retinal degeneration"

Short Biography: Dr Bryan Jones is a research Associate Professor at the University of Utah.  Dr Jones graduated from the University of Utah majoring in Biology followed by a PhD in neurophysiology at the University of Utah.  He then undertook post-doctoral training at the Huntman Cancer Institute and subsequently in Dr Robert Marc’s  laboratory at the Moran Eye Centre, University of Utah.  He currently heads the Retinal Remodelling Laboratory, at the Moran Eye Centre, University of Utah investigating the neurochemistry, connectomics and retinal remodelling in human and animal models of eye disease.

Title: The pathoconnectomics of circuit remodeling in retinal degeneration

Abstract: The retina is a complex, heterocellular tissue with most/all retinal cell classes becoming altered in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a process called retinal remodeling (1,2). Defining disease and the stage-specific cytoarchitectural and metabolic responses in RP and AMD is critical for highlighting targets for intervention. We now know that negative plasticity and neural retinal remodeling occurs regardless of retinal insult in models of retinal degeneration as well as in human RP and in human AMD, revealing that no retinal disease fails to trigger remodeling and reprogramming.

Remodeling associated with retinal degeneration is intimately linked with insults that cause photoreceptor stress and eventually photoreceptor cell death. These phenomena result in reprogramming of cell types in retina followed by progressive neural degeneration akin to CNS neural degenerations involving both neuronal and glial classes. No cell class in the retina is spared from the effects of remodeling. The earliest cell classes involved in remodeling are horizontal, bipolar and Müller cells and the Müller glia are the last cell class left in the remodeling retina.

Our efforts are focused on elucidating the precise wiring changes in retina, through the creation of pathological connectomes, or “patho-connectomes” to study precisely what the aberrant circuit topologies are, compared to normal topologies derived from Retinal Connectome 1 (RC1) (3). Because temporal windows are critical to understanding when interventions may be possible, we are exploring when circuit topology revisions occur to understand their impact on information flow in the retina and their impact on rescues of vision loss. Precise circuit topologies in early retinal degenerative events is our first area of exploration with ultrastructural reconstructions of outer retinal neurons, bipolar cells and horizontal cells. Müller glia are also of intense interest as we are tracking the earliest metabolic and morphological changes in glia in response to retinal degenerations.


Supported by: EY015128, EY014800 Vision Core, an Unrestricted Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, NY, to the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Utah


1. Retinal remodeling in human retinitis pigmentosa. BW Jones, RL Pfeiffer, WD Ferrell, CB Watt, M Marmor, RE Marc. Experimental eye research 150, 149-165
2. Retinal remodeling and metabolic alterations in human AMD. BW Jones, RL Pfeiffer, WD Ferrell, CB Watt, J Tucker, RE Marc. Frontiers in cellular neuroscien ce 10, 103
3. Exploring the retinal connectome. James R Anderson, Bryan W Jones, Carl B Watt, Margaret V Shaw, Jia-Hui Yang, David DeMill, James S Lauritzen, Yanhua Lin, Kevin D Rapp, David Mastronarde, Pavel Koshevoy, Bradley Grimm, Tolga Tasdizen, Ross Whitaker, Robert E Marc. Molecular vision 17, 355