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William H. Merigan, Jr., Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-4872

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

  • Professor - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD)
  • Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC) - Joint
  • Professor - Department of Brain/Cognitive Sciences RC (RC) - Joint


Professional Background

Dr. Merigan's research examines the role of retinal ganglion cells in visual perception in the primate (human and macaque). The primate retina contains at least 14 different types of retinal ganglion cells, and each type forms a complete network across the retina. Because the size, shape and projections of each of the cell types is distinctive, it is thought that they may play quite different and possibly independent roles invisual function,but at present relatively little is known about this question. Some clues about possible functions of different ganglion cell classes comes from their structure (some extend across large swaths of retina, while others get input from tiny regions of retina), their physiology (some ganglion cells respond to color, while others are color blind), and their projections into the brain (some ganglion cells project to visual cortex while others reach the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is thought to be important in diurnal rhythms).



BA | Boston College

MS | Univ of Maryland

PhD | Univ of Maryland
Psychology, All Other


Journal Articles

Godat T, Cottaris NP, Patterson S, Kohout K, Parkins K, Yang Q, Strazzeri JM, McGregor JE, Brainard DH, Merigan WH, Williams DR. "In vivo chromatic and spatial tuning of foveolar retinal ganglion cells in Macaca fascicularis." PloS one.. 2022 17(11):e0278261. Epub 2022 Nov 29.

McGregor JE, Kunala K, Xu Z, Murphy PJ, Godat T, Strazzeri JM, Bateman BA, Fischer WS, Parkins K, Chu CJ, Puthussery T, Williams DR, Merigan WH. "Optogenetic therapy restores retinal activity in primate for at least a year following photoreceptor ablation." Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy.. 2021 Sep 18; Epub 2021 Sep 18.

Aboualizadeh E, Phillips MJ, McGregor JE, DiLoreto DA, Strazzeri JM, Dhakal KR, Bateman B, Jager LD, Nilles KL, Stuedemann SA, Ludwig AL, Hunter JJ, Merigan WH, Gamm DM, Williams DR. "Imaging Transplanted Photoreceptors in Living Nonhuman Primates with Single-Cell Resolution." Stem cell reports.. 2020 Jul 21; Epub 2020 Jul 21.