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Moe 'Harry' Aung

Current Status: M3

Graduate Department: Neuroscience

Other Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Grinnell College;  

Advisor(s): Machalle Pardue, PhD;

Hometown: Mandalay, Myanmar

Hobbies

Anything fun :D

Research

My thesis work focuses on the underlying mechanisms for the early visual deficits in diabetic retinopathy. Currently, we are interested in how reduction in retinal dopamine level may contribute to the visual dysfunction and whether restoration of dopamine level can alleviate the deficit in a rat model of Type I diabetes.

The main goal of my thesis project is to examine the relationship between aberrant neurovascular (NV) autoregulation and neuronal dysfunction and to determine the mediator of altered glia-to-vessel signaling in early-stage diabetic retinopathy (DR). Results from this project will provide evidence that early retinal function changes in DR are triggered by defective NV coupling mechanism. Furthermore, we hope to show that diabetes causes NV coupling insufficiency via imbalance in the levels of vasoactive arachidonic acid metabolites, and that restoring the levels of these metabolites is a potential early therapeutic option for DR. From a broader perspective, our approach will provide cross-correlations of the functional changes seen in both neuronal and vascular pathologies at early-stage DR.