Physicians and Staff
The Ramamurthy lab aims to decipher the biochemical pathways that control the complex processing of information through neurons to the brain. We use the visual system as a model to comprehend this process. In vision, defects in light signal processing result in neuronal death and blindness. Several recent studies have established the link between mutations in various genes to blinding diseases. However, the functional role of these genes and why defects in these genes cause blindness remains elusive. In our research group, we use various molecular, biochemical and physiological approaches to probe the biochemical basis behind defects that cause the break down of the neuronal circuits and ultimately visual impairment. Our investigations are also critical in designing innovative therapeutic approaches in treating these neuronal degenerations.
Techniques Used in the Laboratory: Cloning, expression and purification of proteins in bacteria, insect and human cells; Creation of transgenic and knock out mouse models of disease; Analyses of protein complexes by immunoprecipitation, liquid chromatography and mass-spectrometry; protein localization by in-situs, confocal immunofluorscence and electron microscopy; Electrophysiology; Synthesis, folding and assembly of proteins studied by pulse-label, pulse-chase and immunoprecipitation; Protein structure-function relationship.
Keywords: Neuronal degeneration, Childhood Blindness, Congenital Stationary Night Blindness, Signal processing from retina to brain, Synaptic transmission, Ribbon Synpases, Visual cortex, Gene therapy, Small molecule therapy, Posttranslational modifcation of proteins and protein assembly