Location:    Clinical Research Centre at the Mater Hospital.

1. Lamina Cribrosa

Optic nerve cupping in glaucoma is associated with extensive fibrosis of the lamina cribrosa (LC).

2. Myofibroblast

Our lab explores the role of the LC myofibroblast in this connective tissue remodeling and fibrosis.

3. Pattern of ECM

Even in ex-vivo cell culture, glaucoma LC cells show a pro-fibrotic pattern of ECM gene production, including epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation. Demonstrating expression of the myofibroblast phenotype marker alpha-SMA, we have investigated how cells respond to glaucoma-like stimuli such as TGF beta, cyclic stretch and hypoxia. These cells also have markers of oxidative stress

4. NFAT /Calcineurin Pathway

These cells show mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunction, and raised intracellular cytosolic calcium and signaling pathways eg the NFAT /calcineurin pathway. They have mechanosensitive ion channels such as the maxi-k.

5. TRPC and L-Type Calcium Channels

Currently we are also looking at other mechnosensitive pathways e.g YAP - TA2

6. Other Mechanisms

Integrins and substrate stiffness.