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Robert E. Marc

Calvin and JeNeal Hatch Presidential Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Director of Research, John A. Moran Eye Center




B.S. 1971, University of Texas at El Paso; Ph.D. 1975, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Post-doctoral fellow, 1976-77 UCLA School of Medicine


Retinal Connectome dataset RC1 slice 001 visualized by automated transmission electron microscope imaging and computational molecular phenotyping


Retinal Connectomics, Neural Rewiring and Gene Therapy for Neurodegenerative Disease

The Marc laboratory has developed high-speed transmission electron microscope imaging with molecular tagging for brain and retinal mapping. The goal is to build hundreds of connectomes: canonical wiring diagrams for brain areas. Our immediate goals are to build complete wiring diagrams for the mammalian retina, including the human macula. Our research also focuses on the pathways involved in vertebrate retinal processing and their disruption in retinal degenerations. Retinal pathways using ionotropic kainate, AMPA and NMDA receptors are visualized with organic cations that permeate activated receptor channels. These probes of excitation history can also be used in living, behaving organisms to map endogenous patterns of visually-driven excitation. Photoreceptor degenerations trigger large-scale tissue remodeling and rewiring of the retina, and we studying the molecular mechanisms of this pathologic neuritogenesis. We are currently exploring retinoic acid signaling as a likely candidate.

Selected Publications:

Anderson, J.R., Mohammed, S., Grimm, B., Jones, B.W., Koshevoy, P., Tasdizen, T., Whitaker, R., and Marc, R. (2010) The Viking viewer for connectomics: scalable multi-user annotation and summarization of large volume data sets. J Microscopy, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2010.03402.x

Anderson, J.R., Jones, B.W., Yang, J.-H., Shaw, M.V., Watt, C.B., Koshevoy, P., Spaltenstein, J., Jurrus, E., Kannan, U.V., Whitaker, R., Mastronarde, D., Tasdizen, T., and Marc, R. (2009) A computational framework for ultrastructural mapping of neural circuitry. PLoS Biol, 7(3):e1000074 [doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000074]

Marc, R.E. (2009) Functional Anatomy of the Retina. Duane's Foundations of Clinical Ophthalmology (Tasman and Jaeger).

Marc, R.E., Jones, B.W., Watt, C.B., Vazquez-Chona, F., Vaughan, D.K., and Organisciak, D.T. (2008) Extreme retinal remodeling triggered by light damage: Implications for AMD. Molecular Vision, 14:782-806.

Marc, R.E. (2008) Functional Neuroanatomy of the Retina in Albert and Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology, 3rd edition (Eds Albert and Miller) Elsevier, pp. 1565-1592.

Marc, R.E., Jones, B.W., Anderson, J.R., Kinard, K., Marshak, D.W., Wilson, J.H., Wensel, T.G., and Lucas, R.J. (2007) Neural reprogramming in retinal degenerations. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 48:3364-3371.

Marc, R.E., Kalloniatis, M., and Jones, B.W. (2005) Excitation mapping with the organic cation AGB2+. Vision Research, 45:3454-3468.

Marc, R.E. (2004) "Retinal Neurotransmitters" in: The Visual Neurosciences (Chalupa and Werner, Eds.), MIT Press, pp 315-330.

Marc, R.E., Jones, B.W., Watt, C.B., and Strettoi, E. (2003) Neural Remodeling in Retinal Degeneration. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 22:607-655. PubMed PDF

Jones, B.W., Watt, C.B., Frederick, J.M., Baehr, W., Chen, C.K., Levine, E.M., Milam, A.H., LaVail, M.M., and Marc, R.E. (2003) Retinal remodeling triggered by photoreceptor degenerations. J Comp Neurol, 464:1-16.

Marc, R.E. and Jones, B.W. (2002) Molecular phenotyping of retinal ganglion cells. J Neurosci, 22:413-427.


Last Updated: 6/4/21