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Dr. Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Associate Professor
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami
1638 NW 10th Street, Room 707A

Brief Biography:

Sanjoy Bhattacharya is an Associate Professor and an accomplished scientist in our department. Dr. Bhattacharya is a polymath, he initially did his doctorate in Biochemical Engineering and did some seminal research findings in that sphere of research. He then went on to do a postdoctoral research in epigenetics that within a short period of less than two years resulted into a full article in Nature (18th February 1999 issue) and in PNAS, USA (May 25th, 1999 issue). Dr. Bhattacharya subsequently decided to embark on research career in vision research. In 2003, he initiated an independent research program in glaucoma and identified two protein molecules, cochlin in the trabecular meshwork and peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 in the optic nerve respectively. Cochlin has been proven to be a molecule involved in elevation of intraocular pressure. Sanjoy is one of the pioneering individual who has brought power of unbiased proteomic and now lipidomics mass spectrometric approach in ophthalmology and vision research. Last year he co-organized an ARVO Pfizer institute symposium entitled, “Molecular Biomarkers in Glaucoma” which is recognition of his leadership position in glaucoma and mass spectrometric analyses. Sanjoy was also co-chair of a minisymposium, “Protein deimination in ophthalmic and neurological disease” at Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in San Diego last year. Sanjoy is currently an Associate Professor at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami.

Sanjoy mentors an unusually large number of young students: high school and undergraduate students. During 2003-2006 he visited societies that promote causes of the blind individuals and he also spent some time in clinics and in order to better understand problems associated with progressive blindness. These interactions left a profound impression on him and in 2006 he became interested in determining broad effects of visual deprivation. One of the key fundamental things that he is interested in learning is how deprivation of one sensory input affects the response of that part of the system as well as other parts of the overall other sensory systems. He selected zebra finches or songbirds as one such system due to their property of learned vocalizations. Property of “learned vocalization” is not found in laboratory mouse or other usual rodent models. Sanjoy initiated these studies and performed proteomics and epigenomic analysis. He is a pioneer in analyses of zebra finch primary visual pathway proteome. Sanjoy’s expertise in proteomic mass spectrometric analysis is a proven fact. He is co-author on 23 proteomic mass spectrometric papers since 2005 when he initiated independent career with application of mass spectrometry. His embarking on lipidomics happened around 2005 but very recently it has gone through quantum leaps. His laboratory now has a TSQ Quantum Access Max triple quadrupole instrument and within the last year his laboratory has become one of the forefront laboratories in mass spectrometric lipid research. In summary Dr. Bhattacharya is a proven expert in mass spectrometry and its application in vision research. He has initiated important research with respect to visual deprivation and its consequences.


Academic positions:

* 2010-current: Associate Professor (with tenure), Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, FL
* 2007: Secondary appointment in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami, Miami, FL
* 2006: Secondary appointment in Neuroscience graduate program, University of Miami, Miami, FL
* 2005-2010: Assistant Professor, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, FL
* 2005: Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine, CaseWestern Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
* 2003-2005: Project Scientist, Cole Eye Institute, ClevelandClinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
* 2000-2003: Research Associate, Cole Eye Institute, ClevelandClinic, Foundation, Cleveland, OH
* 1998-2000: Post doctoral Fellow, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH


Research interests:

Dr. Bhattacharya has a broad background in biochemistry, proteomics and vision research, with specific training and expertise pertinent to application of proteomic and lipidomic methods in amblyopia research. His laboratory has established two model systems for amblyopia research: Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata; songbird) and mouse for determining molecular changes as a result of experience dependent visual outcome. He has published proteomic analyses of primary visual pathway of zebra finches now serving as controls for visually deprived birds. Visual deprivation of zebra finches results in altered expression of Lynx1 and, a number of proteins that serve as promoters of neurite outgrowth. He also pioneered proteomic analyses of human optic nerve tissue that lead to discovery of peptidyl arginine deiminase type 2 (PAD2) in the optic nerve. PAD2 has been found to be an important regulator of the neurite outgrowth. Bhattacharya laboratory has now established methods for identification of lipids in minute amount of tissue samples (~0.5 cubic mm) using a TSQ quantum access max mass spectrometer. His laboratory utilizes non-invasive methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optic coherence tomography (OCT) and pattern electroretinogram (PERG) to monitor changes in the primary visual pathway as well as other regions of the brain due to visual deprivation. His laboratory is in forefront of utilization of shotgun lipidomics approaches in vision research. He is an experienced researcher who has conducted successful NIH funded projects.


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