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Dr. Linn is a neurophysiologist whose interests are concerned with the cellular mechanisms involved in visual processing in the vertebrate retina. One major project in her lab deals with neuroprotection against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using an in vitro model of glaucoma.  In these studies, adult pig and rat retinal ganglion cells are isolated from other retinal neurons and cultured under excitotoxic-inducing conditions.  Recently, studies in the lab have identified a number of neuroprotective agents that prevent excitotoxicity and cell death of the ganglion cells.  Current research is identifying and analyzing the mechanisms involved in neuroprotection using a combination of pharmacological, electrophysiological and ELISA methodology. 

Another major project in Dr. Linn's lab deals with the development of an in vivo glaucoma model to analyze the effects of  neuroprotective agents and the mechanisms associated with these effects.  Glaucoma is induced in rat eyes using hypertonic injections of saline into episcleral veins to create scar tissue and increase intraocular pressure.  We have found that significant loss of retinal ganglion cells occurs within a month following this procedure.  We are currently using this glaucoma-like model to look at the effect of a number of potential neuroprotective agents and to analyze the effect of acetylcholine release from starburst amacrine cells on neuroprotection.   This study involves a combination of electrophysiology, pharmacology, immunostaining, HPLC and confocal microscopy techniques.