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Maria Natalia Vergara

TitleAsst Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus
DepartmentSOM-OP General Operations

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MDPost-doctoral Fellowship06/2017Eye development and regenerative therapy
    Miami University, Oxford, OHPh.D.05/2008Retinal regenerative biology
    Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Parana, ArgentinaBiochemist (B.S.)08/1998Biochemistry

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    My research using a combination of traditional animal models and state-of-the-art human stem cell-derived retinal organoids is focused on two key areas:
    I). Understanding the mechanisms of early eye formation and the dynamics of retinal ganglion cell development in a human context.
    II). Exploring the retinal manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those associated with aging.
    In this context, development and aging are viewed as the two sides of the life cycle of the retinal tissue. This program thus seeks to further our understanding of these fundamental biological processes, as well as to develop biological markers and therapeutic approaches to neural retinal degenerative disease.

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Vielle A, Park YK, Secora C, Vergara MN. Organoids for the Study of Retinal Development and Developmental Abnormalities. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021; 15:667880. PMID: 34025363.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Aasen DM, Vergara MN. New Drug Discovery Paradigms for Retinal Diseases: A Focus on Retinal Organoids. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Jan/Feb; 36(1):18-24. PMID: 31059378.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Vergara MN, Tsissios G, Del Rio-Tsonis K. Lens regeneration: a historical perspective. Int J Dev Biol. 2018; 62(6-7-8):351-361. PMID: 29877565.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Canto-Soler V, Flores-Bellver M, Vergara MN. Stem Cell Sources and Their Potential for the Treatment of Retinal Degenerations. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr 01; 57(5):ORSFd1-9. PMID: 27116661.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Vergara MN, Gutierrez C, Canto-Soler MV. Efficient Gene Transfer in Chick Retinas for Primary Cell Culture Studies: An Ex-ovo Electroporation Approach. J Vis Exp. 2015 Nov 02; (105):e52002. PMID: 26556302.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Zhong X, Gutierrez C, Xue T, Hampton C, Vergara MN, Cao LH, Peters A, Park TS, Zambidis ET, Meyer JS, Gamm DM, Yau KW, Canto-Soler MV. Generation of three-dimensional retinal tissue with functional photoreceptors from human iPSCs. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 10; 5:4047. PMID: 24915161.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Vergara MN, Gutierrez C, O'Brien DR, Canto-Soler MV. Ex vivo electroporation of retinal cells: a novel, high efficiency method for functional studies in primary retinal cultures. Exp Eye Res. 2013 Apr; 109:40-50. PMID: 23370269.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Vergara MN, Canto-Soler MV. Rediscovering the chick embryo as a model to study retinal development. Neural Dev. 2012 Jun 27; 7:22. PMID: 22738172.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Yoshikawa T, Mizuno A, Yasumuro H, Inami W, Vergara MN, Del Rio-Tsonis K, Chiba C. MEK-ERK and heparin-susceptible signaling pathways are involved in cell-cycle entry of the wound edge retinal pigment epithelium cells in the adult newt. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2012 Jan; 25(1):66-82. PMID: 22026648.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Vergara MN, de la Rosa EJ, Canto-Soler MV. Focus on molecules: proinsulin in the eye: precursor or pioneer? Exp Eye Res. 2012 Aug; 101:109-10. PMID: 21144848.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Vergara MN, Del Rio-Tsonis K. Retinal regeneration in the Xenopus laevis tadpole: a new model system. Mol Vis. 2009 May 18; 15:1000-13. PMID: 19461929.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Vergara MN, Smiley LK, Del Rio-Tsonis K, Tsonis PA. The alpha1 isoform of the Na+/K+ ATPase is up-regulated in dedifferentiated progenitor cells that mediate lens and retina regeneration in adult newts. Exp Eye Res. 2009 Feb; 88(2):314-22. PMID: 18755185.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Izaguirre MF, Vergara MN, Casco VH. CAS role in the brain apoptosis of Bufo arenarum induced by cypermethrin. Biocell. 2006 Aug; 30(2):309-20. PMID: 16972556.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Casco VH, Izaguirre MF, Mar?n L, Vergara MN, Lajmanovich RC, Peltzer P, Soler AP. Apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system of Bufo arenarum tadpoles induced by cypermethrin. Cell Biol Toxicol. 2006 May; 22(3):199-211. PMID: 16570123.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Grogg MW, Call MK, Okamoto M, Vergara MN, Del Rio-Tsonis K, Tsonis PA. BMP inhibition-driven regulation of six-3 underlies induction of newt lens regeneration. Nature. 2005 Dec 08; 438(7069):858-62. PMID: 16341014.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Vergara MN, Arsenijevic Y, Del Rio-Tsonis K. CNS regeneration: a morphogen's tale. J Neurobiol. 2005 Sep 15; 64(4):491-507. PMID: 16041757.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Tsonis PA, Vergara MN, Spence JR, Madhavan M, Kramer EL, Call MK, Santiago WG, Vallance JE, Robbins DJ, Del Rio-Tsonis K. A novel role of the hedgehog pathway in lens regeneration. Dev Biol. 2004 Mar 15; 267(2):450-61. PMID: 15013805.
      View in: PubMed
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