Ganapati V. Hegde, Ph.D.


Ganapati V. Hegde, Ph.D.Ganapati is studying the influence of microenvironment on the regulation of retinal stem cells/progenitors. The retinal microenvironment is constituted by stem cells/progenitors, precursors, differentiated cells and endothelial cells. His work has begun to demonstrate the complex nature of microenvironment that is selective for the differentiation of stage-specific neurons and yet maintains stem cell/progenitor pool. For example, cells isolated from the early stage of retinal histogenesis, secrete factors with three distinct activities; one that promotes RGC differentiation, the other that inhibits the differentiation of late born neurons, and another, that maintains research imagepool of retinal stem cells/progenitors for generating late born neurons. He has observed that, among cells that constitute the microenvironment, the endothelial cells elaborate activities that contribute towards the maintenance of retinal stem cells//progenitors. He is identifying inter-cellular pathways that mediate the regulatory effects of endothelial cells. His work is further lending credence to our hypothesis that retinal stem cells/progenitors are not irreversibly restricted in their potential to give rise to early or late born neurons; they appear to do so under the selective pressure imposed upon by the microenvironment.