Derrick Feenstra

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults.  Derrick’s research focuses on identifying the role of inflammation in the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Previously Dr. Susanne Mohr’s lab has identified that there is increased caspase-1 activity, the enzyme responsible for production of the active proinflammatory Interleukin-1β, in retinal Müller cells under hyperglycemic conditions.  Derrick aims to identify the mechanism by which caspase-1 is activated in Müller cells under hyperglycemic conditions and understand pathways that allow caspase-1 activity to be regulated by the Interleukin-1 family of cytokines.