Recent News

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 15:00

    A number of ocular diseases involving the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are known to selectively injure the central region of the retina, but the molecular behavior of RPE cells from different regions is not well understood.

  • Sunday, February 20, 2022 - 07:00

    Excited to share our new #singlecell paper on choroidal #endothelial_cells and #macrophages in human eyes with/without #macular_degeneration! All data available at GEO and

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022 - 15:30

    Our lab recently published a new report on the role of local synthesis of the Complement Factor H gene product in protecting choroidal endothelial cells from deposition of the complement MAC complex, a major source of cellular injury in AMD. Kelly used immortalized choroidal endothelial cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to determine that local expression of the Factor H protein is sufficient to increase cellular protection.

  • Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 14:30

    Dr. Mullins's work was recently recognized at a ceremony at the Carver College of Medicine. This ceremony honored scientists with an h-index of 50 or more, meaning that at least 50 of their publications have been cited at least 50 times each.

  • Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 15:00

    Research Associate and Lab Manager Miles Flamme-Wiese was honored in the 2020 Vector Laboratories Photo Contest when his submission was selected as one of ten contest winners. Winners were awarded with a canvas print of their photo and recognized on the Vector Laboratories website (

  • Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 12:00

    In November, our laboratory published the first report detailing gene expression patterns of the human retinal pigment epithelium and choroid at the single cell level. We identified 11 categories (clusters) of cells, including melanocytes, Schwann cells and immune cells. Vascular endothelial cells showed distinct molecular profiles based on their location in the vascular tree, with unique capillary, arterial and venous patterns. In addition, eyes with macular degeneration showed higher expression of the gene RGCC, a potential target for future therapies.

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 09:00

    The lab recently published a study in which blood vessel density was examined in 143 human donor eyes with healthy aging, early stage age-related macular degeneration, and advanced "dry" macular degeneration (geographic atrophy).

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:00

    In May of 2019, University of Iowa vision researchers published the first paper in the peer reviewed literature using single-cell gene expression within the human retina. With the aid of high-performance computing, the team was able to characterize gene expression profiles for 8,217 cells corresponding to ten different types of retinal cells. This multidisciplinary approach allowed for the first characterization of gene expression signatures in individual human retinal cell types such as photoreceptor cells and ganglion cells.

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 15:30

    Postdoctoral Research Scholar Kelly Mulfaul was honored with the 2019 Members-in-Training (MIT) Outstanding Poster Award in the Retinal Cell Biology category for her poster, “Choroidal Endothelial Cells Synthesize CFH Locally to Protect Against Complement Mediated Injury” at the annual meeting of the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 15:00

    Our lab recently published a paper describing the identification of compounds that protect the cells of the choroid (the vascular system that supports rod and cone photoreceptor cells) from injury by the complement system, a major source of cell injury in age-related macular degeneration.

    Screening over 1,000 FDA approved compounds led to the identification of a class of molecules that provide a benefit to choroidal cells in culture, with the prospect that these (or related) compounds may be helpful in humans with macular degeneration.