Light, vision and the brain

Team leaders: Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl & Frank Pfrieger

Our team is interested in molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating retinal physiopathology and its connections with the brain. Using a wide range of models and methods, we study how cell-cell interactions control retinal function, development, aging and vulnerability to diseases, and how their integration conveys information to the central circadian clock and to other brain regions regulating behaviour.

Team projects


Researchers / Professors / Assistant Professors

Amandine Bery
(MC Unistra)

Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl

David Hicks
(DR Inserm)

Virginie Laurent-Gydé
(MC Unistra)

Jorge Mendoza

Viviane Pallage

Frank Pfrieger

Michael Reber
(CR Inserm)

Daniela Verra

Post-doc / PhD students

Udita Bagchi

Shumet Gegnaw

Bastien Leclercq

Anayanci Masis-Vargas

Nadia Mazzaro

Milagros Arietti

Nemanja Milicevic

Firuzeh Rajabian

Fabiana Sassone

Guillaume Vanotti

Engineers / Technicians

Amélie Bathélémy

Cristina Sandu

Selected publications

Demais V, Barthélémy A, Perraut M, Ungerer N, Keime C, Reibel S, Pfrieger FW. Reversal of pathologic lipid accumulation in NPC1-deficient neurons by drug-promoted release of LAMP1-coated lamellar inclusions. J Neurosci (2016) 36: 8012-8025. PMID: 27466344.

Felder-Schmittbuhl MP, Buhr ED, Dkhissi-Benyahya O, Hicks D, Peirson SN, Ribelayga CP, Sandu C, Spessert R, Tosini G. Ocular Clocks: Adapting Mechanisms for Eye Functions and Health. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. (2018) 59:4856-4870. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24957.

Laurent V, Sengupta A., Sánchez-Bretaño A., Hicks D., Tosini G. Melatonin Signaling Affects the Timing in the Daily Rhythm of Phagocytic Activity by the Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Exp. Eye Res.; Dec; 165:90-95.

Salaberry NL, Hamm H, Felder-Schmittbuhl MP, Mendoza J. A suprachiasmatic-independent circadian clock(s) in the habenula is affected by Per gene mutations and housing light conditions in mice. Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Jan;224(1):19-31. doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1756-4.

Verra DM, Sajdak BS, Merriman DK, Hicks D. Diurnal rodents as pertinent animal models of human retinal physiology and pathology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2019 Sep 6:100776. doi:10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100776.