Research/Areas of Interest:

The role of the ubiquitin pathway in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and protein quality in the lens and retina

Age-related degeneration of the retina and cataract are the main blinding diseases. Virtually everyone will get cataracts if they live long enough and about 35% will suffer some form of age related macular degeneration. We explore the pathobiology of these debilities, and aging in general, and the use of nutrients or pharmaceuticals to delay age-related degeneration of the retina and cataract. Human epidemiological/clinical, and laboratory approaches are used to elucidate etiologies of these debilities and approaches to delaying them. Laboratory techniques include a vast array of biochemical, molecular biological, as well as in vivo, cell and organ culture experiments. This work is complemented by microbiome and metabolomics analyses of animals fed specific diets and of people for whom we have very long term food intake data and ophthalmologic exam records.

As part of the above interests, we elucidate mechanisms by which control of dietary glycemic index and/or food restriction delays AMD or cataract in non-diabetic normal individuals, extends life, and delays aging in lab animals.

Additional projects focus on relations between ubiquitination and regulation of retina or lens homeostasis, cell division and proliferation, differentiation and organogenesis.

Specific studies on retina and lens protein quality control involve investigation of the ubiquitin and autophagy requirement for proteolytic activity, particularly as it is affected by aging and substrate glycation.

Development of alternatives to surgery for cataract


  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Rutgers University–Newark, Newark, United States, 1973
  • B.S., Chemistry, City College of New York, New York, United States, 1967