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315 464-9494

Andrea Viczian, PhD

4613 Institute For Human Performance (IHP)
505 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Andrea Viczian's email address generated as an image


Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology




Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biomedical Sciences Program
Neuroscience and Physiology
Neuroscience Program
Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; vascular development in the CNS; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.


Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)


Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, 2002, Developmental Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow: Marshall-Sherfield Fellow, University of Cambridge, 1999, Developmental Biology
PhD: University of California at Los Angeles, 1998, Neuroscience



The eye develops in the anterior region of the embryonic neural plate and is one of the first organs to form. This region gives rise to the complex neural tissue, the retina. In blinding diseases like Age-Related Macular degeneration or Retinitis Pigmentosa, these light-sensing cells are lost and the human body cannot replace them. The Viczian team is interested in understanding the genes encoding transcription factors that drive the development of retina formation from pluripotent embryonic cells. In a 20+ year collaboration with the Zuber lab, our groups have been discovering the transcription factors and their roles in driving both of these processes. We use the relatively simple frog to better understand early eye formation (Fig. 1).

Figure 1

We generate transgenic tadpoles to determine elements driving gene expression (Fig. 2).

Figure 2

We use transplantation studies to determine transcription factors necessary and sufficient for eye formation (Fig. 3).

Figure 3

We believe in group effort and we champion our trainees to discover the best of their abilities in performing their research. Our current work has transitioned from using frog to knockout mouse studies and embryonic stem cell cultures to determine conservation of gene function from frog to mouse. We look forward to you joining us in this supportive, yet exciting, environment.

Graduate studies in the Viczian lab. Students interested in joining the Viczian lab are welcome to email Dr. Viczian to discuss shared research interests.

Selected publications

Ledford, K. L., Martinez-De Luna, R. I., Theisen, M. A., Rawlins, K. D., Viczian, A. S., and Zuber, M. E. (2017). Distinct cis-acting regions control six6 expression during eye field and optic cup stages of eye formation. Dev Biol 426, 418-428.

Motahari, Z., Martinez-De Luna, R. I., Viczian, A. S., and Zuber, M. E. (2016). Tbx3 represses bmp4 expression and with Pax6 is required and sufficient for retina formation. Development 143, 3560-3572.

Wong, K. A., Trembley, M., Abd Wahab, S., and Viczian, A. S. (2015). Efficient retina formation requires suppression of both Activin and BMP signaling pathways in pluripotent cells. Biol Open 4, 573-583.

Viczian, A. S. (2013). Advances in retinal stem cell biology. J Ophthalmic Vis Res 8, 147-159.

Viczian, A. S., Solessio, E. C., Lyou, Y., and Zuber, M. E. (2009). Generation of functional eyes from pluripotent cells. PLoS Biol 7, e1000174.


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