Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Waisman Center (VCRGE)
Position title: Graduate Student
Advisor: David Gamm, MD, PhD
Keywords: Stem cells, disease modelling, therapeutics
BSc Cellular & Molecular Biology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Steven Mayerl is interested in using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to create more anatomically and functionally accurate models of retinal development and retinal diseases. The Gamm lab uses hPSCs to make 3-dimensional optic vesicles (OVs), also known as retinal organoids. These hPSC-OVs grow and differentiate over time to form all of the major cell classes found in the retina. However, over time the inner layers of the OV undergo cell death due to lack of metabolic support. The goal of his research is to study this phenomenon and develop methods to improve the health and the longevity of hPSC-OVs through various means, including the introduction of a perfusable microvasculature network similar to what is found in the inner retina in vivo.