Federico Gonzalez-Fernandez, MD, PhD
Medical Research Service
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Building 20, Room 219
3495 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14215
Ira Gile Ross & Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted Ross, MD Endowed Chair Professor of Ophthalmology specializing in Ocular Pathology
Education: M.D. and Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA
Anatomic Pathology (American Board of Pathology)
Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine (Molecular Biology)
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Pathology (Neuropathology)
The vertebrate eye forms through the invagination of the optic vesicle allowing the neural retina and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)/choroid to come into direct apposition in a bi-layered “optic cup.” This sets the stage for a variety of fascinating collaborations between the two layers in the embryonic and adult retina, ranging from developmental interactions (e.g., cellular induction), physiological processes (e.g., vitamin A cycle, retinal adhesion), and pathological states (including degenerations and retinal detachment).
Our laboratory is broadly interested in the retina-RPE/choroid as a model of cell-cell interactions mediated through extracellular matrices. In fact, there are few places in the body as well suited to study such interactions. Consider that the interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM), which fills the subretinal space, is sandwiched between the neural retina and apical RPE surface. In turn, the basal RPE contacts Bruch’s membrane (a complex matrix formed by the basement membranes of the RPE and choroidal capillaries). Unlike other CNS matrices, the IPM and Bruch’s membrane can be readily isolated.