David M. Gamm

Credentials: MD, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Email: dgamm@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-261-1516

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Eye/retina, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration
Aligned Research Focus:
Human retinal development
Dave Gamm headshot


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Dr. Gamm is the RRF Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director, McPherson Eye Research Institute and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program.

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, Samimi K, Mayerl SJ, Phillips MJ, Pinilla I, Howden SE, Saha J, Jansen AD, Edwards KL, Jager LD, Barlow K, Valiauga R, Erlichman Z, Hagstrom A, Sinha D, Sluch VM, Chamling X, Zack DJ, Skala MC, Gamm DM. Reproducibility and staging of 3D human retinal organoids across multiple pluripotent stem cell lines. Development. 2019 Jan 9;146(1). pii: dev171686. doi: 10.1242/dev.171686
  • Jung YH, Phillips MJ, Lee J, Xie R, Ludwig AL, Chen G, Zheng Q, Kim TJ, Zhang H, Barney P, Min J, Barlow K, Gong S, Gamm DM, Ma Z. 3D Microstructured Scaffolds to Support Photoreceptor Polarization and Maturation. Adv Mater. 2018 Sep;30(39):e1803550. doi: 10.1002/adma.201803550. Epub 2018 Aug 14.
  • Phillips MJ, Jiang P, Howden S, Barney P, Min J, York NW, Chu LF, Capowski EE, Cash A, Jain S, Barlow K, Tabassum T, Stewart R, Pattnaik BR, Thomson JA, and Gamm DM. A novel approach to single cell RNA-seq analysis facilitates in silico gene reporting of human pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal cell types. Stem Cells. 2017 Dec 12. doi: 10.1002/stem.2755. PMC5823737.
  • 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, and Gamm DM. Regulation of WNT signaling by VSX2 during optic vesicle patterning in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells, 34 (11): 2625–2634, 2016. PMC5156591.
  • Singh R, Kuai D, Guziewicz KE, Meyer J, Wilson M, Lu J, Molly Smith, Eric Clark, Verhoeven A, Aguirre GD, and Gamm DM. Pharmacological modulation of photoreceptor outer segment degradation in a human iPS cell model of inherited macular degeneration. Molecular Therapy, 23 (11): 1700–11, 2015. PMC4817951.