Chief, Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
- Retinal development
- Regulation of gene expression in the retina
- Genetics and disease mechanisms underlying inherited retinal and macular diseases
- Aging of the retina
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
Dr. Swaroop is investigating how stem cells develop into nerve cells (particularly photoreceptors) in the retina, how these neurons connect to each other, and how they become dysfunctional or die during aging or in disease conditions. His goal is to use this understanding of biological pathways of differentiation, homeostasis, aging, and disease pathogenesis, to develop new treatments for blinding retinal conditions.
Dr. Swaroop has authored over 200 peer-reviewed research papers that have appeared in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Genetics,and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has also served as a reviewer of scientific publications for major journals, including Science and Cell.
- Uncovered several genes and variants that increase the susceptibility for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Through genetic and genome-wide association studies, major biochemical pathways have been revealed and may be targets for future AMD treatments.
- Identified genes for several types of retinitis pigmentosa, a group of inherited retinal degenerative diseases and the gene for a common form of Leber congenital amaurosis, a childhood blinding disease. Currently involved in identifying disease mechanisms and developing treatment paradigms using gene therapy, cell-based therapy, and small molecule screening.
- Discovered how certain genes and molecules control the development of light-sensitive retinal cells from stem/progenitor cells in the eye.
The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments.