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Gross, Jeffrey

Jeffrey M Gross

Professor, Department Chair, Molecular Biosciences
College of Natural Sciences, Molecular Biosciences

Eye Development, Disease and Regeneration, Developmental Biology, Genetics


Phone: 512-471-9864

Office Location
NHB 2.642

Education & Training

  • Postdoc 2002-2005 Genetics/Neuroscience Harvard University
  • Ph.D. 2002 Biology Duke University
  • BS. 1996 Biology University of Maryland Baltimore County

Our research focuses on vertebrate eye development, disease modeling and regeneration utilizing the zebrafish as a model system for most of our studies.  We also have an interest in eye evolution and have worked with a number of "non-model" systems. For our zebrafish work, we combine forward genetic screens with reverse genetic, genomic and embryological manipulations we hope to understand the molecular, cellular and developmental events that regulate eye formation and visual function, ocular diseases and regenerative responses. Current areas of interest in the lab include studies focusing on the development of the retina and its regulation through epigenetic mechanisms, elucidation of the cellular mechanisms that regulate ocular morphogenesis, and the molecular regulation of retina and RPE regeneration. Our research combines molecular, cellular, biochemical, transgenic, genomic and in vivo imaging techniques to address these questions. It is our hope that these studies will ultimately lead to a better understanding of visual system disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration, and serve as a foundation for the development of new therapeutic interventions.  We welcome creative and energetic students and potential postdocs to reach out about these and other new projects if interested in the lab.

Representative Publications

Leach LL, Fisher GB, Gross JM. "Nitroreductase/Metronidazole-Mediated Ablation and a MATLAB Platform (RpEGEN) for Studying Regeneration of the Zebrafish Retinal Pigment Epithelium." J Vis Exp. (181):10.3791/63658 (2022)

Lu F, Leach LL and JM GrossmTOR signaling modulates innate immune system activity required for pigment epithelium regeneration in zebrafish” – PloS Genetics18(3):e1009628 (2022)

Kingston R, Amin D, Misra S, Gross JM and T Kuwajima “The Serotonin Transporter Is a Regulator of Neurodegeneration and Axon Regeneration After Retinal Injury” – PLoS Genetics – 17(11):e1009885 (2021)

Chen S, Lathrop K, Kuwajima T and JM Gross “Retinal ganglion cell survival after severe optic nerve injury is modulated by crosstalk between JAK/STAT signaling and innate immune responses in the zebrafish retina” – Development – 149(8):dev199694 (2021)

Leach LL, George S, Gabriel A and JM Gross “Innate immune system activity is a critical regulator of retinal pigment epithelium regeneration in zebrafish” – PNAS –118(21):e2017198118 (2021)

George S, Lu F, Rao M, Leach LL and JM Gross “The Retinal Pigment Epithelium: Development, Injury Responses and Regenerative Potential in Mammalian and non-Mammalian Systems” – Progress in Retina and Eye Research – 100969. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2021.100969 (2021)

Raeisossadati R, Ferrari MFR, Kihara AH, Al Diri I and JM Gross “Epigenetic regulation of retinal development” Epigenetics and Chromatin – 14(1):11 (2021)

Koenig K and JM Gross “Evolution and Development of Complex Eyes: A Celebration of Diversity” – Development – 147: dev182923 doi: 10.1242/dev.182923 (2020)

Angileri K and JM Gross “dnmt1 function is required to maintain retinal stem cells within the ciliary marginal zone of the zebrafish eye” – Scientific Reports – 10(1):11293 (2020)

Sinagoga K, Larimer-Picciani A, George S, Spencer SA, Lister JA and JM Gross “Mitf-family transcription factor function is required within cranial neural crest cells to promote choroid fissure closure” – Development – 147(21):dev187047 (2020)

Seritrakul P and JM Gross “Genetic and epigenetic control of retinal development in Zebrafish” Current Opinion in Neurobiology – Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 59:120-127 (2019)

Hanovice N, Slater  K, Romanovicz D, Shao E, Collery R, Burton EA, Lathrop K, Link BA and JM Gross “Regeneration of the zebrafish retinal pigment epithelium after widespread genetic ablation” – PLoS Genetics – 15(1):e1007939 (2019)

Bernstein CS, Anderson MT, Gohel C, Slater K, Gross JM and S Agarwala “The Cellular bases of choroid fissure formation and closure” – Developmental Biology 440(2):137-151 (2018)

Siddam AD, Gautier-Courteille C, Perez-Campos L, Anand D, Kakrana A, Dang CA, Legagneux V, Méreau A, Viet J, Gross JM, Paillard L, Lachke SA “Celf1 is essential in vertebrate eye development for regulating fiber cell differentiation to achieve lens transparency” – PLoS Genetics 14(3):e1007278 (2018)

Seritrakul P and JM Gross “Tet-mediated DNA hydroxymethylation regulates retinal neurogenesis in zebrafish” PLoS Genetics 13(9):e1006987 (2017)

James AE, Lee C, Williams A, Angileri K, Lathrop KL and JM Gross “The Hyaloid Vasculature Facilitates Basement Membrane Breakdown During Choroid Fissure Closure in the Zebrafish Eye” Developmental Biology 419(2):262-272 (2016)

Koenig K, Sun P, Meyer E, JM Gross “Cell Fate Determination During Eye Development in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii” Development Sep 1;143(17):3168-81 (2016)

See full list of publications