Research Faculty

160 Fort Washington Ave.
New York, NY 10032

Phone: 212-342-5135
Education and Training
MS, MD, 1988 Biochemistry/Molecular biology, Pirgov Russian National Research Medical University

PhD, 1992 Molecular Biology, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology

Fellowship: Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology

Fellowship: Harvard Univ Medical School
Andrei Tkatchenko, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ophthalmic Sciences (in Opthalmology and Pathology and Cell Biology)
Research Summary

The main focus of Dr. Tkatchenko’s research is identification and characterization of genes and genetic networks underlying refractive eye development, as well as studies of genetic variations causing development of refractive errors.

Postnatal refractive eye development is a tightly coordinated process whereby visual input drives ocular growth toward zero refractive error in a process called “emmetropization”. The emmetropization process is regulated by a vision-driven feedback loop in the retina and downstream signaling cascades in other ocular tissues, resulting in correct focal length of the eye (emmetropia). Failure of emmetropization leads to the development of refractive errors, i.e., farsightedness (hyperopia) or nearsightedness (myopia). The prevalence of myopia (the most clinically important refractive error in the human population) has increased from 25% to 44% of the adult population in the United States in the last 30 years, and reached >80% in some parts of Asia. Epidemiological data suggest that low-grade common myopia represents a major risk factor for a number of serious ocular pathologies such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy, which is comparable to the risks associated with hypertension for stroke and myocardial infarction, and represents the seventh leading cause of blindness. In the U.S., the increasing prevalence of myopia also costs $8.1 billion a year for refractive correction alone, negatively affects self-perception, job and activity choices. It is estimated that 2.5 billion people (1/3 of the world’s population) will be affected by myopia by 2020. Uncorrected refractive errors are the major cause of vision loss (particularly in developing countries) and refractive errors are one of five priority pathological conditions according to the World Health Organization.

Environmental factors, such as nearwork and reading, play important role in the development of common myopia; however, recent human genetic studies and gene expression profiling in animal models of myopia revealed that refractive eye development and myopia are controlled by hundreds of genes and complex genetic networks, which account for more than 70% of variance in refraction.

Dr. Tkatchenko recently developed a mouse model of myopia and demonstrated that mice undergo emmetropization. He also demonstrated that refractive eye development and myopia in the mouse are fundamentally similar to those in other mammals, including humans. Dr. Tkatchenko’s laboratory is using classical mouse genetics, gene-targeted mouse models, and advanced systems genetics approaches to study genes and genetic networks underlying refractive eye development and myopia.
Selected Publications

Tkatchenko AV, Tkatchenko TV, Guggenheim JA, Verhoeven VJ, Hysi PG, Wojciechowski R, Singh PK, Kumar A, Thinakaran G, Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM), Williams C. APLP2 regulates refractive error and myopia development in mice and humans. PLOS Genetics 2015; 11(8):e1005432.doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005432.

Bawa G, Tkatchenko TV, Avrutsky I, Tkatchenko AV. Variational analysis of the mouse and rat eye optical parameters. Biomed. Opt. Express 2013; 4: 2585–2595.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Braun RD, Bawa G, Kumar P, Avrutsky I, Tkatchenko AV. Photopic visual input is necessary for emmetropization in mice. Exp. Eye Res. 2013; 115: 87-95.

Tkatchenko TV, Tkatchenko AV. Ketamine-xylazine anesthesia causes hyperopic refractive shift in mice. J. Neurosci. Methods 2010; 193: 67-71.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Tkatchenko AV. Mouse experimental myopia has features of primate myopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010; 51:1297-1303.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Tkatchenko AV. Analysis of postnatal eye development in the mouse with high-resolution small animal magnetic resonance imaging. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010; 51: 21-27.

Tkatchenko TV, Moreno-Rodriguez RA, Conway SJ, Markwald RR, Tkatchenko AV. Lack of periostin leads to suppression of Notch1 signaling and calcific aortic valve disease. Physiol. Genomics 2009; 39: 160-168.

Tkatchenko AV, Walsh PA, Tkatchenko TV, Gustincich S, Raviola E. Form deprivation modulates retinal neurogenesis in primate experimental myopia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2006; 103: 4681 – 4686.

Tkatchenko AV. Whole-mount BrdU staining of proliferating cells by DNase treatment: application to postnatal mammalian retina. BioTechniques 2006; 40: 29 – 32.

Honors and Awards

1988 Ph.D. Fellowship from the Russian Academy of Sciences

1989 Selected among 70 top graduate students of the USSR in the contest run by Oxford University

1996 Fellowship from Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) , France

2001 Selected as Dana/Mahoney Research Fellow by the Harvard Neuroscience Institute

2002 Selected as Dana/Mahoney Research Fellow by the Harvard Neuroscience Institute

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