Dr. Biraj Mahato earned his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (Jadavpur University), India. He completed his postdoctoral training in Stem cell biology and Regenerative medicine from KU Medical Center, UPenn and UNT Health Science Center. Dr. Mahato has extensive expertise in diverse biological fields such as cellular reprogramming, stem cell biology, retinal regeneration, and mitochondrial biology. Dr. Mahato’s prior research demonstrated a facile small molecule-based method to obtain retinal photoreceptor like cells from skin fibroblasts. Strikingly, these chemically induced photoreceptors were shown to restore vision in blind animal models (rd1). Moreover, his research showed how mitochondrial function and cellular energy metabolism balances pluripotency in embryonic stem cells.
Dr. Mahato’s laboratory currently focused on the following areas: (i) Development of novel regenerative cell-based therapies for ophthalmic neurodegenerative diseases. (ii) Molecular and functional analysis of photoreceptors (rod and cone) and retinal ganglion cells for their therapeutic application to cure blindness. (iii) In vivo retinal regeneration for visual function improvement. (iii) Translation of clinically observed correlations into a mechanistic understanding of the physical and biological underpinning of neurological disorders that affect both the retina and optic nerve.