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National Institutes of Health

Pediatric Ophthalmology & Neuro-ophthalmology Investigators

Susan Culican, PhD (Developmental Biology)

Dr. Culican's laboratory work relates to the cellular refinement of neural circuits during critical periods of visual development. Amblyopia, or "lazy eye", is the most common cause of vision loss in childhood, affecting approximately 5% of school-aged children. Patching the stronger eye to strengthen the lazy eye can result in spectacular improvement if performed when the brain's visual circuits are still remodeling. However, if treatment is not initiated during this critical period of development, the vision loss becomes permanent. While many studies have been aimed at localizing the site of amblyopia in the brain, there is very little known about the mechanisms that define the process at the cellular or synaptic level.

Lawrence Tychsen, MD (Physiology and Developmental Biology)

Dr. Tychsen’s laboratory work is focused broadly on development of binocular vision in infant humans and monkeys, and specifically on neural mechanisms in strabismus (the clinical disorder of crossed-eyes). Studies have shown that infantile strabismus is not due primarily to an eye muscle problem, but rather to malformation of circuits in the CNS. The malformations are manifest as a constellation of visual and motor deficits, which include loss of depth perception, abnormal motion vision and inaccurate eye tracking.

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The Vision Research Community at Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S.Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63110
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