Navdeep Gogna, PhD, was introduced to mouse genetics during her brief first postdoc, where she collaborated with Dr. Patsy Nishina at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine to study the molecular pathways responsible for cell-cell interactions in the mouse retinal pigment epithelium. These changes in retinal pigment epithelium occur during aging and in degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. She subsequently joined Dr. Nishina's lab to follow her newfound passion.
Dr. Gogna initially focused on learning a variety of techniques needed for investigating the genetic underpinnings of retinal diseases. Together with her graduate training in metabolomics, she is now poised to work toward identifying the mechanisms that lead to age-related macular degeneration–like phenotypes in the humanized ARMS2 mouse model. She has already discovered early mitochondrial changes in these mice. These and additional preliminary results provided a basis for a testable hypothesis regarding the role of ARMS2 in risk for age-related macular degeneration.