Overview

Optic nerve neuropathies, such as glaucoma, ischemic neuropathy, or physical nerve injury, cause irreversible blindness by impairing visual signaling from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to the brain. As a postdoctoral research fellow in Benowitz Lab, Kimberly leads a research project that characterizes how retinal immune cells (including microglia and astrocytes) respond after optic nerve injury. The goal of this research is to identify and inhibit neurotoxic signaling mechanisms to increase RGC survival and axon regeneration after injury. She was recently accepted into the Molecular Bases of Eye Disease Training Program at Schepens Eye Research Institute which includes NEI project support for one year.

Background

Kimberly Wong received her B.E. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering in 2011 from The Cooper Union in New York, NY, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Physiology in 2017 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Her dissertation research in Dr. Andrea Viczian's lab focused on understanding the biochemical signaling pathways regulating gene regulatory networks during eye field specification and cone photoreceptor genesis. She has presented her work at multiple regional and international conferences, including the ARVO Annual Meetings in 2014-2017, 2019.

At Boston Children's Hospital, she is currently a NEI T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Dr. Larry Benowitz. She manages research collaborations spanning institutions, mentors undergraduate research assistants, and is a board member of the BCH Postdoctoral Association in the Public Affairs committee. Her personal interests include: hiking, running, biking, snowboarding, and baking bread.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Microglia
  • Optic nerve regeneration

Research Departments

Research Divisions

Researcher Labs

PUBLICATIONS

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  1. Wong KA, Trembley M, Abd Wahab S, Viczian AS. Efficient retina formation requires suppression of both Activin and BMP signaling pathways in pluripotent cells. Biol Open. 2015 Mar 06; 4(4):573-83. View abstract