Research Interests

  • The role of the innate immune system in regulating pathologic angiogenesis
  • The effects of senescence on macrophage gene regulation
  • Oxidative stress, inflammation and the regulation of cell death in models of macular degeneration
  • Regulation of photoreceptor cell death by inflammation
  • The role of innate immune cells in aging and disease
  • Molecular regulation of uveitis
  • The role of microRNAs in aging and age-related eye pathologies
  • Molecular mechanisms in retinal microglia contributing to eye pathologies
  • Contributions of immune cells in

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Lab News

6/2/22: Congratulations, Chas Pfeiffer, on receiving the 2022 Cora Verhagen Award  for best trainee presentation in an immunology-sponsored session at  ARVO 2022 !

4/30/22: Enjoying our new surroundings before #ARVO2022 kicks off here in Denver! Excited to share what we’ve been working on. Click here for session details – stop by and chat with us!

2/21/22: New publication in collaboration with Deepak Poria and Vladamir Kefalov lab, “EML1 is essential for retinal photoreceptor migration and survival” is now available in Scientific Reports.

2/10/2022: New publication by Dr. Yoshida and Dr. Apte “NAD+ boosting brings tears to aging eyes” now available in Nature Aging.

2/2/2022: Dr. Rajendra Apte, MD PhD has been selected as the UT Southwestern  Ophthalmology 2022 Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient.  He will give the Distinguished Alumnus Lecture at their 42nd Annual Resident & Alumni Day on June 11, 2022 in Dallas TX.

1/10/2022: Welcome our newest lab member, Technician Dan Du!
12/2/21: Congratulations, Chas Pfeiffer, DBBS graduation student! Chas has been awarded a grant from the VitreoRetinal Surgery Foundation (VRSF) to support his research.

Current Projects:

  • Investigating the mechanisms underlying photoreceptor cell death in models of retinal disease
  • Investigating the role of the innate immune system in regulating angiogenesis
  • Analyzing the macrophage transcriptome and its effects on aging
  • Examining the mechanisms responsible for changes in macrophage cell metabolism that may contribute to blinding diseases of the eye
  • Using tissue specific deletion of soluble and membrane expressed molecular activators of myeloid cell function in order to define the role of these cells in regulating post-developmental angiogenesis and retinal photoreceptor cell demise
  • Elucidating the role of resident microglia in retinal pathologies
  • Examining circadian rhythm in retinal immune cells
  • Studying the role of senescence and physiologic aging and their contribution to age-associated eye diseases