Current Funding and Projects

1) NEI & UnitBv Memorandum of Understanding

Established by Dr. Badea between NEI and Transilvania University for the purpose of supporting Visual Neuroscience and Ophthalmology research at UnitBv. NEI provided Dr. Badea's laboratory equipment (Microscopy, physiology, visual behavior), collection of genetically modified mouse lines (21 lines, about half generated by Dr. Badea at the NEI or Hopkins) and specific reagent collections (plasmids, probes, antibodies, cell lines). UnitBv financed the building and equipment of the BEAM facility, as well as most of the equipment of the Molecular Genetics and Neuroscience Laboratory. Student exchanges and common projects are planned.

2) Development and Function of High Acuity Central Vision

Project number: PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-0333

Funded by UEFISCDI


We aim to understand the development, function, and pathology of central high acuity vision. In humans, high visual acuity is provided by the fovea, a specialized retinal structure, in which visual information flows in one-to-one fashion from cone photoreceptors to bipolar cells and high-resolution Retinal Ganglion Cells (RGCs). The modest progress in understanding the fovea and treating its disorders is due in part to the lack of a genetically accessible mammalian model. We have recently discovered an area of high visual acuity (Area Centralis, ArCe) in the mouse, and will explore its function and development, to establish it as a pathogenetic and therapeutic model for central vision and high visual acuity RGC defects. We will use unique genetically modified mouse lines we developed to identify the RGCs of the ArCe, determine their brain projections and participation in binocular vision, and study the developmental history and molecular mechanisms of ArCe formation. We will apply visually guided behavior tests to mice with genetic ablation of the ArCe in order to identify its involvement in visual function. The results will provide us with an animal model for studying pathogenetic mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for high visual acuity central visual defects. In addition, the gained insights will pave the way for current efforts in retina repair based on stem cell or reprograming efforts, by discovering the necessary developmental steps and molecular requirements.


Objective 1: Characterize the RGC types of the mouse area centralis (ArCe).

Objective 2: Investigate the development of the ArCe and High Visual Acuity RGCs

Objective 3: The role of ArCe and Small Receptive Field RGCs in Visual Function


Group members:
  • Tudor C. Badea
  • Vladimir Muzyka
  • Raluca Pascalau
  • Diana Petre
  • Adina Teodora Rosca
UnitBv Collaborators:
  • Prof. Dr. Mihaela Badea
  • Sef Lucr. Dr. Vlad Monescu


See Publications page
  • Boobalan E et al (2022) Zfp503/Nlz2 Is Required for RPE Differentiation and Optic Fissure Closure. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2022 Nov 1;63(12):5. doi: 10.1167/iovs.63.12.5

    See publication

  • Tatomir A et al (2022) Role of RGC-32 in multiple sclerosis and neuroinflammation – few answers and many questions, Frontiers in Immunology doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.979414

    See publication

  • Tien et al (2022) Layer-specific developmentally precise axon targeting of transient suppressed-by-contrast retinal ganglion cells J. of Neuroscience doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2332-21.2022

    See publication

  • Characterization of Retinal Ganglion Cells expressing Tusc5, Vladimir Vladimirovitch Muzyka, Gregory William Schwartz, Ana-Maria Sisman, Tudor Constantin Badea, Visual System Development Gordon Research Conference 2022, 13 - 20 August 2022
  • Interplay between transcriptional regulation and neurotrophic signaling in Retinal Ganglion Cell Type Specification, Tudor Badea, Vladimir Muzyka. Federation of European Neuroscience Society meeting 2022, 9- 13 July 2022.
  • Insulin and its roles in the central nervous system Anamaria Taranciuc (Șişman), Tudor C. Badea International Summer School "Food Safety and Healthy Living" Brasov, September 2022.
  • Selective molecular markers for Retinal Ganglion Cell anatomy, physiology and function, Conferinta reunită a Societății Naționale de Neuroștiințe (SNN) și Societății Române de Fiziologie (SRF), Bucharest Sept 29th to Oct 01
  • Functional studies into the role of Copines in Retinal Ganglion Cell Maturation and Function, Tudor C. Badea, al 39-lea Congres al Societatii Romane de Biologie Celulara Cluj-Napoca, 21-23 Octombrie 2022