Lara Carroll, PhD, is a research assistant professor working on diseases that lead to vision loss and specializing in vascular pathologies of the retina. She earned her BA degree in biology at UC Berkeley and her PhD in ecology and evolution under Wayne Potts, PhD, at the University of Utah. Dr. Carroll joined the Moran Eye Center following a post-doc under Nobel Prize Laureate, Mario Capecchi, PhD. Her current focus in Dr. Owen’s lab is to understand early molecular events and markers that may help predict the onset of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a potentially blinding disease of premature infants. This research aims to identify molecular targets for developing specific therapies to prevent the onset of disease. She is also pursuing studies to identify targets for normalizing or reversing advanced retinal vascular pathologies, as is seen in many patients with advanced diabetes.
Blair Wood is a lab specialist with a B.S. in biology and a chemistry minor from the University of Utah. She previously specialized in image analysis of neurological diseases and pathology at the VA Salt Lake City Medical Center (Dr. Carlson, Dr. Rose, and Dr. Greenlee) for more than 10 years. She has also worked with several neurologists specializing in multiple sclerosis, using mouse disease models and advanced confocal techniques to help with human clinical outcomes from this debilitating disease. For the last three years, she has been working in Dr. Leah Owen’s lab at the Moran Eye Center. The focus of this work is to understand more about the underlying causes and possible treatments for an infant eye disease called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Using mouse models, retinal image analysis, qPCR, ELISA, cell culture, and human sample analysis, the lab team hopes to stop or prevent blindness or vision loss in infants with ROP.