News

November 2022

Ashley publishes her research in eBioMedicine

The Wert lab just published a manuscript in collaboration with the labs of Dr. Steve Gray and Dr. Saima Kayani: "Long-term progression of retinal degeneration in a preclinical model of CLN7 Batten disease as a baseline for testing clinical therapeutics". Congratulations to first author, Ashley, and Wert lab co-authors, Emily and Yacine!

Read the Manuscript Here

October 2022

The Wert Lab Receives Additional Funding from the VanSickle Family Foundation

The Wert Laboratory received another year of funding from the VanSickle Family Foundation to pursue our research on gene activity underlying macular degenerative disease. We are looking forward to using this generous funding to find potential therapeutic targets to treat patients with macular degeneration.

October 2022

Dr. Wert presents her research in the Physiology Department Seminar Series

Dr. Wert presented her research on metabolism during retinal degenerative disease for the Department of Physiology's Seminar Series.

October 2022

Tiffany's first author review article is published

Tiffany Yee published her review article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences called, "Base and prime editing in the retina - from preclinical research toward human clinical trials." Congratulations, Tiffany!

Read the Manuscript Here

September 2022

Dr. Wert presents her research in the Molecular Biology Seminar Series

Dr. Wert presented her research on genetic regulation in the mammalian retina for the Department of Molecular Biology's Seminar Series, hosted by Dr. Kim Orth.

September 2022

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Ahmed Alshaikhsalama

Ahmed started in the Wert laboratory in September 2022, as a second year medical student. He is excited to be a part of the Wert lab to further develop biochemical solutions for complex ophthalmological diseases. We're excited to have him join the lab!

September 2022

Tiffany receives the CRSM Fellowship Award

Tiffany was one of five recipients of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (CRSM) Fellowship Awards for 2022-2023. This award will help support her as she pursues her research in the Wert lab. Congratulation, Tiffany!

September 2022

Dr. Wert joins as Associate Director on the Microscopy and Digital Imaging Module of the Core Grant for Vision Research

Dr. Wert joins as Associate Director on the Microscopy and Digital Imaging Module of the Core Grant for Vision Research. She will direct the rodent live imaging research for the Department of Ophthalmology P30 NEI grant.

August 2022

Ashley is accepted into the MoDTS and 3MD graduate program tracks

Ashley is accepted into two special interests tracks alongside her main Ph.D. program: the Mechanisms of Disease Translational Science (MoDTS) track and the Molecular Metabolism and Metabolic Diseases (3MD) track.

August 2022

Glen presents his summer research at the SURF program poster session

Glen did an excellent job presenting his summer research project during the SURF program poster session at UTSW.

June 2022

The Wert lab collaboration with the Robertson lab is published in PLoS One

Ashley and Yacine helped with data for a collaboration that led to a publication by the Robertson lab in PLoS One, called "Differential effects of obstructive sleep apnea on the corneal subbasal nerve plexus and retinal nerve fiber layer."

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0266483

June 2022

Ashley presents her works-in-progress to the Department of Ophthalmology

Ashley did an excellent job presenting her recently submitted for publication data to the Ophthalmology Department Works-In-Progress seminar. We're super excited to continue exploring gene therapy cellular targets for neurodegenerative disease.

June 2022

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Glen Wickersham

Glen Wickersham is a summer undergraduate research fellowship (SURF) student who is joining the Wert Laboratory through August 2022 from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico. We're excited to have him visiting this summer and for him to explore his research interests in aging and neurodegenerative diseases!

June 2022

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Tyler Cepica

Tyler Cepica is a medical student here at UTSW and joined the Wert Laboratory to help build his knowledge and interest in translational Ophthalmology research. We're excited to have you working with us!

May 2022

Dr. Wert invited to be the Keynote speaker at the Genetics, Development and Disease (GDD) graduate program annual retreat

Dr. Wert was selected to be the Keynote speaker at the 2022 Genetics, Development and Disease (GDD) graduate program annual retreat at the Dallas Arboretum. She hopes the students enjoyed her presentation as much as she enjoyed hearing all of the great ongoing research from the various graduate student speakers and poster presenters.

May 2022

Ashley Rowe presents her research at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting in Denver, CO

Ashley Rowe did an excellent job presenting her poster titled, "Ocular Characteristics and Disease Progression in a Preclinical Model of Batten Disease" during the Photoreceptors and Disease session on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at ARVO. She had people stopping by to chat about her work throughout the entire poster session time!

May 2022

Dr. Wert presents her research and moderates a session at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting in Denver, CO

Dr. Wert presented her work on "Dysregulation of Tricarboxylic Acid (TCA) Cycle Activity and Lipid Metabolism in Preclinical Models of Retinitis Pigmentosa" during the Retinal Metabolism session on Sunday, May 1, 2022. It was a great session with really strong research presentations and feedback.

She also enjoyed her first time moderating a paper session with Dr. Karl Wahlin. The session was on "Stem Cell Models of Retinogenesis and Retinal Disease" on Monday, May 2, 2022.

April 2022

Tiffany Yee has the winning design for the new GDD graduate program logo

Congratulations to Tiffany Yee, she designed the winning logo for the Genetics, Development and Disease graduate program.

March 2022

Ashley is accepted into the Ph.D. program at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Super excited to announce that Ashley Rowe is accepted to the Ph.D. program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She's going to have an amazing time exploring the research opportunities here at UT Southwestern, and we know she'll do great in her Ph.D. thesis research!

March 2022

Ashley Rowe invited to present her research at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting in Denver, CO

Ashley Rowe will be presenting a poster titled, "Ocular Characteristics and Disease Progression in a Preclinical Model of Batten Disease" during the Photoreceptors and Disease session on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

March 2022

Dr. Wert invited to speak at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting in Denver, CO

Dr. Wert will be presenting a talk titled, "Dysregulation of Tricarboxylic Acid (TCA) Cycle Activity and Lipid Metabolism in Preclinical Models of Retinitis Pigmentosa" during the Retinal Metabolism session on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
She will also be presenting her work with the Celeris Electroretinography System for Diagnosys LLC on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, as well as moderating the paper session "Stem Cell Models of Retinogenesis and Retinal Disease" on Monday, May 2, 2022.

March 2022

Ashley Rowe invited to present her research at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting in Denver, CO

Ashley Rowe will be presenting a poster titled, "Ocular Characteristics and Disease Progression in a Preclinical Model of Batten Disease" during the Photoreceptors and Disease session on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

February 2022

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Tiffany Yee

Tiffany Yee officially joins the Wert Lab as our second graduate student. We are excited to have her as a part of the lab and to get started on some exciting research projects for retinal degenerative disease!

January 2022

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Emily Nettesheim

Emily Nettesheim joined as the first official graduate student in the Wert Laboratory. We are excited to have her be a part of the lab, and to work together as she completes her doctoral degree.

December 2021

The Wert Lab Receives Funding from the VanSickle Family Foundation

The Wert Laboratory received funding from the VanSickle Family Foundation to pursue our research on gene activity underlying macular degenerative disease. We are looking forward to using this generous funding to find potential therapeutic targets to treat patients with macular degeneration.

November 2021

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Yacine Issioui

Yacine Issioui is a current medical student here at UTSW and is working with the Wert Laboratory to analyze data and gather experience in basic science Ophthalmology research. We are excited to help you explore your interests in the field of Ophthalmology!

October 2021

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Rotation Student Tiffany Yee

Tiffany Yee joined the Wert Laboratory as a rotation student for the second Fall 2021 rotation period. We are excited to have her here and to help her explore her interests in retina research!

October 2021

Dr. Wert presents her research for the National Eye Institute

Dr. Wert was an invited speaker for the Retina Disease Interest Group Seminars at the National Eye Institute, hosted by Dr. Anand Swaroop. She presented her work titled, "The role of metabolism on photoreceptor cell health during the progression of retinal degenerative disease." She had such a great experience interacting with all of the excellent retina reseachers at the NEI!

August 2021

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Rotation Student Emily Nettesheim

Emily Nettesheim joined the Wert Laboratory as a rotation student for the first Fall 2021 rotation period. We are excited to have her here and to help her explore her interests in ocular gene therapy!

July 2021

Dr. Wert joins as an Investigator in the O'Donnell Brain Institute (OBI)

Dr. Wert has joined the Peter O'Donnell Brain Institute (OBI) as an Investigator. She is excited to be involved with the OBI and take part in their activities and scientific advances in brain (and eye) research!

July 2021

Congratulations to Ashley on the lab's first publication!

Congratulations, Ashley! She just published her first manuscript and the lab's first publication in JCI Insight.

Read the Full Manuscript

July 2021

Ashley presents her works-in-progress to the Department of Ophthalmology

Ashley did an excellent job presenting her recently published data and brand new preliminary data to the Ophthalmology Department Works-In-Progress seminar. We're super excited to keep finding the mechanisms by which manipulating neural retina metabolism can provide resilience against cell death to the photoreceptor cells during disease progression.

April 2021

Ashley presents her research for the RPE Cell Biology and Metabolism Seminar Series

Ashley Rowe did an amazing job presenting her research on metabolic dysregulation in the neural retina during retinal degenerative disease. She presented virtually for the RPE Cell Biology and Metabolism Seminar Series, with over 87 people in attendance during her talk! Way to go!

December 2020

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Dr. Pinkal Patel

Dr. Pinkal Patel joined the Wert Laboratory after completing his Ph.D. research in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Visual Sciences at the UNT Health Science Center. Pinkal is excited to start his research projects looking into neuronal/retinal development and how it is impacted during neurodegenerative disease. We are excited to have you in the lab, Dr. Patel!

November 2020

Dr. Wert presents her new research findings in the GDD WIPs seminar series

Dr. Wert presented her laboratory's recent research findings in photoreceptor metabolism during retinal degeneration to the Genetics, Development and Disease (GDD) Works-In-Progress seminar series. Thanks GDD for the invite to speak! And to Ashley for all of her hard work and dedication to obtaining this data.

October 2020

Ashley presents her works-in-progress to the Department of Ophthalmology

Ashley did an amazing job presenting her research on photoreceptor metabolism during the progression of Retinitis Pigmentosa as well as the creation of isogenic human pluripotent stem cells using prime editing and their differentiation to 3D retinal organoids (two talks in one!). Way to represent the Wert Laboratory on our first official presentation to the Department of Ophthalmology!

September 2020

Dr. Wert presents her lab research at the New Faculty Research Forum

Dr. Wert presented her research titled, "Disease Modeling and Therapeutics for Retinal Degenerative Disease" for the New Faculty Research Forum at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

August 2020

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Rotation Student Dami Alao

Dami Alao has joined the Wert Laboratory as a rotating graduate student from the Biomedical Engineering program. Dami was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States to attend college at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas. She completed her Bachelor of science in Biomedical Engineering in December 2017, during which she interned at a biotech company in Omaha, Nebraska called Streck and later transitioned into a full time position where she worked on developing real-time PCR diagnostic assays as a surveillance tool for antibiotic resistance and cell-free DNA blood collection tubes. While at Streck, her curiosity and desire for biomedical research was further ignited, hence the decision to attend graduate school where she can both ask and solve interesting biological questions. In her free time, Dami enjoys volunteering in community events, spending time in nature, reading and perfecting home-made recipes. We are excited to have her continue her research career in our lab!

August 2020

Dr. Wert presents her lab research for the GDD "Meet the Program" event

Dr. Wert was an invited presenter for the senior student-organized GDD "Meet the Program" event for incoming graduate students.

June 2020

Dr. Wert presents her research for the Retina iMetabolism Seminar Series

Dr. Wert was an invited speaker for the Retina iMetabolism Joint Lab Meeting Online Seminar Series. This series brought together research labs throughout the country that work on retinal metabolism, and was hosted by Columbia University and the University of Washington. She presented her work titled, "Metabolic Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa.”

February 2020

Commentary Published for Dr. Wert's Recent Manuscript

Dr. Wert's publication in EBioMedicine received a published commentary piece from the University of Washington, also published in EBioMedicine.

Read the Full Publication

February 2020

Welcome to the Wert Lab, Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe has joined the Wert Laboratory as a Research Technician II. She is a recent graduate of UT Dallas with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and is looking forward to combining her clinical knowledge with her love for medical science. We are excited to have her start her research career in the field of Ophthalmology!

November 2019

Dr. Wert receives the inside back cover image for the Dec. 2019 issue of Human Mutation

Dr. Wert received the Inside Back Cover Image for the December 2019 issue of Human Mutation, based on her work:

Wert KJ*, Koch SF, Velez G, Hsu CW, Mahajan M, Bassuk AG, Tsang SH, Mahajan VB*. CAPN5 inactivation phenotype supports therapeutic inhibition trials. Hum Mutat. 40(12):2377-2392. *Co-corresponding authors.

October 2019

The Wert Laboratory Officially Opens

September 2019

Dr. Wert invited to speak at the ARVO 2020 annual meeting in Baltimore, MD

Dr. Wert will be presenting a talk titled, "Base and Cas13a RNA editing" during the "Genome Surgery and Base Editing: From Biology to Therapy" Full-Day Education Course on Saturday, May 2, 2020.