Brian Link, PhD
Position title: Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
BS 1991, Biochemistry & Cell Biology, University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA
PhD 1997, Cell & Developmental Biology, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, OR
Postdoc 2001, Developmental Neurobiology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
The major research theme in Dr. Link’s lab is the study of ocular development and disease. There are two primary areas of research, both centered at the cellular level with an emphasis on signaling. The first area of research focuses on understanding the cell interactions and signaling events that regulate critical steps for retinal progenitor cells during development: cell cycle exit, cell-type fate commitment, and cellular migration and differentiation. The lab uses genetic and cell biological tools, including mutational analysis and in vivo live cell imaging, to learn about the mechanisms, cellular behaviors, and underlying genes that influence retinal lamination. Currently, they are studying how endocytosis and polarized vesicle trafficking affect signaling (primarily Notch, Wnt and Hippo-Yap/Taz pathways) in neuroepithelia. Ancillary to these studies, Dr. Link’s lab is characterizing the role of Yap activity in retinal pigment epithelial development and maintenance. For the second area of research, which also utilizes zebrafish, they are modeling disease processes of the eye including PhR degenerations, glaucomas, and myopia. Both mutational analyses and targeted gene manipulations are being conducted to shed light on the mechanisms of pathogenic phenotypes. Finally, the Link lab has started studying how developmentally significant genes and signaling pathways re-emerge in cancer-related processes.
Link to PubMed Listing