Welcome to the Kumar Lab!

The compound eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an excellent model system for studying such diverse topics as tissue determination, compartment boundary establishment, pattern formation, cell fate specification, cell proliferation and apoptosis, planar cell polarity, signal transduction and cell-cell communication. The retina is a particularly good experimental model in part because it contains a limited number of cell types that follow a precise and stereotyped mode of development. Additionally, more than forty years of study by dozens of laboratories has produced a detailed survey of the eye's cellular, molecular and morphological development.

My research group is focused on a number of questions (see individual lab member pages) that are central to understanding how tissues in general, and the eye in particular, are initially specified and then patterned. We use a wide range of molecular, biochemical and cellular methods to analyze the genes and proteins that control each step in retinal development. We also make extensive use of scanning, light and confocal microscopy to analyze the cellular and developmental consequences to eye development in instances in which genes critical to retinal formation have been disrupted.

I am currently looking for highly motivated post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and research technicians to join my research group and be part of an exciting effort to understand how a simple nervous system such as the retina is constructed. Please direct all inquiries to: jkumar@indiana.edu. Research is funded by grants from the National Eye Institute (R01 EY014863).

Recent Lab News and Upcoming Events

June 2018

Our manuscript “Eyeless/Pax6 initiates eye formation non-autonomously from the peripodial epithelium” has been accepted for publication in Development.

May 2018

Congratulations to Luke Baker for successfully defending his graduate PhD thesis!

Lab Members Collage