David Gamm, MD, PhD

RRF Emmett A Humble Distinguished Director, McPherson Eye Research Institute


(608) 261-1516

T609 Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705-2274

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Sandra Lemke Trout Chair in Eye Research
McPherson Eye Research Institute

BS 1990, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
MD 1998, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
PhD 1998, Neurosciences, University of Michigan School of Graduate Studies, Ann Arbor, MI
Ophthalmology Residency, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI
Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI

Clinical Interests
Examination and treatment of pediatric patients; adult/pediatric strabismus and motility disorders; inherited retinal degenerative diseases

Research Interests
Inherited and acquired eye diseases that culminate in the degeneration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are a significant cause of permanent visual morbidity. In my pediatric ophthalmology practice at the University of Wisconsin, I see the impact of these retinal degenerative diseases (RDDs) on afflicted individuals and their families. As such, our laboratory at the Waisman Center utilizes stem cell technology to 1) study human retinal development in vitro and 2) devise therapeutic strategies for RDDs. This work has led to the identification, culture, and study of human retinal precursor cells and pigmented epithelial cells. Our interest lies in comparing the behavior of these specific cell populations under different conditions, using cortical precursor cells as an important control. In addition, we are employing molecular and genetic techniques to manipulate the fates and utility of these cells, thus expanding their potential therapeutic value. Knowledge obtained from these studies is applied to transplantation experiments using various animal models of retinal degeneration, which are performed in collaboration with researchers at Oregon Health and Science University. One approach we have explored extensively involves the transplantation of genetically engineered neural progenitor cells that are capable of tissue-specific delivery of neuroprotective factors. Lastly, we use human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the early molecular steps involved in the production of retinal progenitors and other retinal cell types. Ultimately, we hope these efforts will contribute to our understanding of human retinogenesis and lead to the development of effective interventions for visually disabling retinal disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.

PubMed Listing of Publications