Charles & Louella Snyder Ocular Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory

Principal Investigator

Jeffrey M. Gross, PhD

Professor of Ophthalmology
E. Ronald Salvitti Chair in Ophthalmology Research
Director, Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Lab Personnel

Si Chen, MD, Visiting Scholar
Shea Heilman, Graduate Student
Lyndsay Leach, PhD, Research Scientist
Jiwoon Lee, PhD, Senior Research Scientist
Fangfang Lu, Visiting Scholar
Mishal Rao - Graduate Student

Research Interests

Our research focuses on vertebrate eye development, disease and regeneration utilizing the zebrafish as a model system. Combining forward genetic screens with reverse genetic and embryological manipulations we hope to understand the molecular, cellular and developmental events that regulate eye formation and visual function. Current areas of interest in the lab include studies focusing on:

  1. Epigenetic regulation of retinal development
  2. RPE regeneration
  3. Optic cup morphogenesis and choroid fissure closure and
  4. RGC neuroprotection

Our research combines molecular, cellular, biochemical, genomic/epigenomic and in vivo imaging techniques to address these questions. It is our hope that these studies will ultimately lead to a better understanding of visual system disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular colobomata that often result in blindness in afflicted patients.


  1. Angileri K and JM Gross “dnmt1 function is required to maintain retinal stem cells within the ciliary marginal zone of the zebrafish eye” – Scientific Reports – in press (2020) 
  2. Taler K, Weiss O, Rubinstein A, Seritrakul P, Gross JM and A Inbal “Lysyl hydroxylase 3 is required to maintain integrity and fate of lens epithelium” – Developmental Biology – 458 (2), 177-188 (2020) 
  3. Seritrakul P and JM Gross “Genetic and epigenetic control of retinal development in Zebrafish” Current Opinion in Neurobiology – Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 59:120-127 (2019)
  4. Hanovice N, Slater  K, Romanovicz D, Shao E, Collery R, Burton EA, Lathrop K, Link BA and JM Gross “Regeneration of the zebrafish retinal pigment epithelium after widespread genetic ablation” – PLoS Genetics – 15(1):e1007939 (2019)
  5. Bernstein CS, Anderson MT, Gohel C, Slater K, Gross JM and S Agarwala “The Cellular bases of choroid fissure formation and closure” – Developmental Biology 440(2):137-151 (2018)
  6. Siddam AD, Gautier-Courteille C, Perez-Campos L, Anand D, Kakrana A, Dang CA, Legagneux V, Méreau A, Viet J, Gross JM, Paillard L, Lachke SA “Celf1 is essential in vertebrate eye development for regulating fiber cell differentiation to achieve lens transparency” – PLoS Genetics 14(3):e1007278 (2018) 
  7. Seritrakul P and JM Gross “Tet-mediated DNA hydroxymethylation regulates retinal neurogenesis in zebrafish” PLoS Genetics (2017) 13(9):e1006987.
  8. James AE, Lee C, Williams A, Angileri K, Lathrop KL and JM Gross “The Hyaloid Vasculature Facilitates Basement Membrane Breakdown During Choroid Fissure Closure in the Zebrafish Eye” Developmental Biology (2016) 419(2):262-272.
  9. Koenig K, Sun P, Meyer E, JM Gross “Cell Fate Determination During Eye Development in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii” Development Sep 1;143(17):3168-81 (2016)   

For more information, please visit:
Ocular Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory
Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration


Contact Information

Jeff Gross, PhD
BST-3 10047, 3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213