Post Docs

Chas Pfeifer, PhD

Degrees: Ph.D. Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine (2023); B.S. Neuroscience, University of Rochester (2017); B.M. Classical guitar performance, Eastman School of Music (2017)

Project/Interests:  Investigating the contribution of microglia to diabetic retinopathy progression in various mouse models and characterizing the role of pericytes in retinal microvascular structure and function.

Ryo Terao, MD, PhD

Degrees: MD, University of Tsukuba (2008); PhD University of Tokyo (2020)

Project/Interest: Impact of aging on eye disease pathology

Taku Yamamoto, MD, PhD

Degrees: MD, Hokkaido University (2013); PhD Hokkaido University (2023)

Project/Interest: Retinal Glia; Immunilogical approach to aging via uveitis

Mitsukuni Yoshida, MD, PhD

Degrees: MD, Washington University (2021); PhD Washington University (2019)

Project/Interest: Aging, Metabolism, Circadian Rhythms

Graduate Students

Jason Colasanti

 PhD student, Molecular Cell Biology

Undergrad: University of Maryland–College Park

Project: The single greatest risk factor for cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age. Therefore, my goal is to better understand how our bodies age. Currently, I am investigating cellular senescence and how it plays a role in physiological dysfunction and age-related diseases.

Tim Lee

PhD student, Developmental Biology

Undergrad: BE in Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University (2015)

Project: Deciphering the role of AMPK in mouse photoreceptors

Zelun Wang

MSTP MD/PhD student, Neurosciences

Undergrad: Rice University (2016)

Project: I study the effect of aging on immune and signaling processes involving macrophages that contribute to neurodegeneration in the eye. I am also interested in retinal ganglion cell subtypes and their susceptibility to disease.

Rotating Graduate Students

Yongyi Li

Neuroscience Graduate Student

Degrees: B.S. Neuroscience & Biology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2023)

Kristin Pitts

MSTP Student

Degrees: B.A. Biology, Kenyon College (2019)

Hung-Ting Wu, MS

DBBS Graduate Student

Degrees: M.S. Biotechnology, National Taiwan University (2022); B.S. Biochemical Science and Technology, National Taiwan University (2019)

Medical Students

Joseph Lin, PhD

Medical student

Degrees: Ph.D. Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine (2023); B.S. Biology, Case Western Reserve University (2016)

Project: I am interested in studying how aging affects the eye with a specific focus on treatments for age-associated diseases that can cause vision loss.

Helen Rossmiller

Medical Student

Degree: B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (2022)

Wilson Wang, MPhil

Medical student

Degrees: MPhil in Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK (2019), B.A. Chemistry, Williams College (2018) 

Project: Currently, I am studying the ophthalmic clinical outcomes regarding eye diseases due to aging, the rare ophthalmic disease RVCL, and retinal eye pathologies. In particular, I am interested in clinical trial development and the role of innovative imaging and treatment modalities in the eye. 


Andrea Santeford, MS

Research Laboratory Supervisor

Degrees: M.S. Biology-Molecular and Cellular Regulation, St. Louis University (2005); B.S. Biology, University of Missouri (2003)

Projects: Molecular regulation of macrophage aging; determinants in choroidal neovascularization and novel therapeutic targets, uveitis.    

Brian Sohn

Research Technician II

Degrees: B.A. Biochemistry, minor Biology, Washington University in St. Louis (2023)

Projects/Interests: Investigating the molecular and cellular drivers of aging and neurodegeneration

Darksha Usmani, MS

Research Assistant

Degrees: M.S. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology ( Dr. Harisingh Gour University Sagar)

Projects/Interests: Corneal wound healing and maintenance

Shinobu Yamaguchi Smithson, MS

Senior Research Technician

Degrees: MS Bioethics (in progress), BS (2019), AS Biotechnology (1996)

Projects/Interests: Aging, Metabolism, Circadian Rhythms