Daniel Kerschensteiner, M.D.

Associate Professor
Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Neurosciences Program
Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314-747-5630

  • 314-747-5625

  • 8096

  • McMillan 109

  • kerschensteinerd@wustl.edu

  • https://sites.wustl.edu/kerschensteiner/

  • imaging, mathematical modeling, neurobiology, physiology, synapse biology, vision

  • Neural circuit assembly and visual processing in the retina and the brain

Research Abstract:

We would like to understand how neural circuits process information and to uncover the principles and
mechanisms that guide their development. Our efforts concentrate on the retina, the first stage of visual
processing, and its subcortical targets. We generate transgenic and viral tools to label and manipulate
specific neurons in these circuits. We use light – the natural input to the visual system – to elicit signals
with high precision and track signal transformations across successive neurons of the circuitry using
patch-clamp and multi-electrode array recordings. In addition, we study the organization and processing
of visual information at a subcellular level by two-photon imaging. We explore molecular mechanisms
that regulate the plasticity and specificity of neuronal morphologies and synaptic connections in
developing visual circuits. Thus, we hope to identify features of neural circuit architecture that perform
particular computations and characterize how they arise during development. By interfering with the
development and/or function of these features, we aim to identify the behavioral significance of specific
retinal and subcortical computations.

Selected Publications:

Soto F, Zhao L, Kerschensteiner D. Synapse maintenance and restoration in the retina by NGL2. Elife 2018 Mar 19;7

Johnson KP, Zhao L, Kerschensteiner D. A pixel-encoder retinal ganglion cell with spatially offset excitatory and inhibitory receptive fields. Cell Rep 2018 Feb 6;22(6):1462-1472

Johnson RE, Tien NW, Shen N, Pearson JT, Soto F, Kerschensteiner D. Homeostatic plasticity shapes the visual system`s first synapse. Nat Commun 2017 Oct 31;8(1):1220

Hsiang JC, Johnson KP, Madisen L, Zeng H, Kerschensteiner D. Local processing in neurites of VGluT3-expressing amacrine cells differentially organizes visual information. Elife 2017 Oct 12;6

Kim T, Kerschensteiner D. Inhibitory control of feature selectivity in an object motion sensitive circuit in the retina. Cell Rep 2017 May 16;19(7):1343-1350

Tien NW, Soto F, Kerschensteiner D. Homeostatic plasticity shapes cell-type-specific wiring in the retina. Neuron 2017 May 3;94(3):656-665

Tien NW, Kim T and Kerschensteiner D. Target-specific glycinergic transmission from VGluT3-expressing amacrine cells shapes suppressive contrast responses in the retina. Cell Rep 2016 May 17;15(7):1369-75

Faits MC, Zhang C, Soto F and Kerschensteiner D. Dendritic mitochondria reach stable positions during circuit development. Elife 2016 Jan 7; 5:e11583

Tien NW, Pearson JT, Heller CR, Demas J and Kerschensteiner D. Genetically identified suppressed-by-contrast retinal ganglion cells reliably signal self-generated visual stimuli. J Neurosci 2015 Jul 29;35(30):10815-20.

Kim T, Soto F and Kerschensteiner D. An excitatory amacrine cell detects object motion and provides feature-selective excitatory input to ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Elife 2015 May 19; 4.

Pearson JT and Kerschensteiner D. Ambient illumination switches contrast preference of specific retinal processing streams. J Neurophysiol 2015 Jul;114(1):540-50.

Last Updated: 4/5/2018 12:47:08 PM

Paired Recordings and 2-Photon Imaging of Retinal Ganglion cells
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