Ruchira Singh, Ph.D.

Ruchira Singh, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 659
Rochester, NY 14642

Lab Information

Singh Lab

Visit Lab Website »


Research Bio

The overall objective of my research is to find treatments and possibly cures for retinal and neuro-degenerative diseases. Towards this goal my research program focuses on 1) using patient-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to study the molecular mechanism of specific retinal and neurological diseases and 2) applying that knowledge to pharmacologically target certain retinal disorders in patient-derived cells.



The retina is an extension of the central nervous system that has been shown to share the pathological manifestations of a number of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease of the central retina, have been shown to have non vision–related cognitive decline. Furthermore, a number of physiological processes that are affected in neuro-degenerative diseases are also impacted in retinal degenerative diseases. To cite a few examples, perturbation in phagocytic clearance, iron metabolism, polarized fluid transport and blood–tissue barrier function are all major cellular characteristics of degenerative diseases of both the retina and the brain. Therefore studying mechanisms of specific retinal degenerative diseases also has significant relevance for understanding other neurological disorders.

The current projects in the laboratory utilize patient-derived hiPSCs for:

• Studying the role of individual cell layer and intercellular interaction in retinal physiology and disease development

• Delineating the disease mechanism(s) of inherited retinal degenerative disease(s) and age-related macular degeneration

• Elucidating the role of gene-environment interaction in the pathophysiology of macular degeneration

More details about specific projects can be found on my lab website

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 11 available »

2015 Nov
Singh R, Kuai D, Guziewicz KE, Meyer J, Wilson M, Lu J, Smith M, Clark E, Verhoeven A, Aguirre GD, Gamm DM. "Pharmacological Modulation of Photoreceptor Outer Segment Degradation in a Human iPS Cell Model of Inherited Macular Degeneration." Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 2015 Nov; 23(11):1700-11. Epub 2015 Aug 24.
2014 Jun
Phillips MJ, Perez ET, Martin JM, Reshel ST, Wallace KA, Capowski EE, Singh R, Wright LS, Clark EM, Barney PM, Stewart R, Dickerson SJ, Miller MJ, Percin EF, Thomson JA, Gamm DM. "Modeling human retinal development with patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells reveals multiple roles for visual system homeobox 2." Stem cells. 2014 Jun; 32(6):1480-92.
2013 Oct 17
Singh R, Phillips MJ, Kuai D, Meyer J, Martin JM, Smith MA, Perez ET, Shen W, Wallace KA, Capowski EE, Wright LS, Gamm DM. "Functional analysis of serially expanded human iPS cell-derived RPE cultures." Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2013 Oct 17; 54(10):6767-78. Epub 2013 Oct 17.
2013 Sep 13
McDowell TS, Wang ZY, Singh R, Bjorling D. "CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist prevents NGF-induced sensitization of TRPV1 in sensory neurons." Neuroscience letters. 2013 Sep 13; 551:34-8. Epub 2013 Jul 12.
2013 Jun 1
Gamm DM, Phillips MJ, Singh R. "Modeling retinal degenerative diseases with human iPS-derived cells: current status and future implications." Expert review of ophthalmology. 2013 Jun 1; 8(3):213-216.

Current Appointments

Assistant Professor - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD) - Primary
Assistant Professor - Department of Biomedical Genetics (SMD)
Assistant Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)