Benjamin S. Sajdak
Credentials: Morgridge Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow, Morgridge Institute for Research
9th floor, Wisconsin Institutes of Medical Research (WIMR)
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705
Benjamin Sajdak’s vision research pursuits began with Dr. Dana Merriman at UW-Oshkosh, studying ground squirrel vision and its uniquely muted response to retinal insult. This work seamlessly transitioned into his graduate school work with Dr. Joseph Carroll, whom he helped launch a non-invasive retinal imaging facility for animal models of vision research. Over the past 5 years (1 as a research technologist, 4 as a graduate student), Sajdak has helped develop mouse, rat, ground squirrel, canine, and swine imaging projects with several in-house and national laboratory collaborations. He continues to focus on developing the ground squirrel as an accessible model for vision research for his thesis work, studying the photoreceptor structure non-invasively with AOSLO and OCT. Current projects include studying the ground squirrel retina as it reversibly remodels throughout its annual hibernation cycle-they seem to lose “normal” active outer segment and mitochondria structure which is helping us histologically validate the biological origin of AOSLO and OCT signal (something that’s not possible to do with human subjects). He is also working on optimizing intravitreal AAV delivery to ground squirrel cones, to benefit anticipated efforts to develop disease models and treatment of cone disorder.