David M. Gamm

David Gamm
Associate Professor, RRF Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director, McPherson Eye Research Institute, Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program


Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Organ System/Disease Focus: 

Eye/retina, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degenerati

Aligned Research Focus: 

Human retinal development

Research Description: 

Inherited and acquired degenerative diseases of the retina are a significant cause of incurable vision loss worldwide. Closer to home, I see the impact of these diseases on afflicted individuals and their families in my pediatric ophthalmology practice at the University of Wisconsin. As such, my laboratory at the Waisman Center utilizes stem cell technology to 1) investigate the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal differentiation and 2) generate cells for use in human retinal disease modeling and cell-based rescue or replacement strategies. To meet these goals, we utilize a variety of human cell types, including ES and iPS cells, which have the capacity to mimic retinal development and disease, as well as to delineate the genetic "checkpoints" necessary to produce particular retinal cell types. By understanding the behavior of these cell types in vitro and in vivo, we hope to optimize strategies to delay or reverse the effects of blinding disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and age–related macular degeneration.

Selected References: 

  • Capowski EE, Wright LS, Liang K, Phillips MJ, Wallace K, Petelinsek A, Hagstrom A, Pinilla I, Borys K, Lien J, Min JH, Keles S, Thomson JA, Gamm DM. Regulation of WNT Signaling by VSX2 during Optic Vesicle Patterning in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem Cells. 2016 Jun 14. doi: 10.1002/stem.2414. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Sinha D, Phillips J, Phillips MJ, Gamm DM. Mimicking retinal development and disease with human pluripotent stem cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr 1;57(5).
  • Gamm DM and Wong R. Report on the National Eye Institute Audacious Goals Initiative: Photoreceptor regeneration and integration workshop. Transl Vis Sci & Technol. 4(6):1-14, 2015.
  • Singh R, Kuai D, Guziewicz KE, Meyer J, Wilson M, Lu J, Molly Smith1, Eric Clark1, Verhoeven A, Aguirre GD, Gamm DM. Pharmacological modulation of photoreceptor outer segment degradation in a human iPS cell model of inherited macular degeneration. Mol Ther. 23(11):1700-11, 2015.
  • Phillips MJ, Perez ET, Martin JM, Reshel ST, Wallace KA, Capowski EE, Singh R, Wright LS, Clark EM, Barney PM, Stewart R, Dickerson SJ, Miller MJ, Percin EF, Thomson JA,Gamm DM. Modeling human retinal development with patient-specific iPS cells reveals multiple roles for VSX2. Stem Cells. 32(6):1480-92, 2014.


Stem Cell Bioengineering
Neural Regeneration