Organ-specific cell proliferation and differentiation is a complex aspect of developmental biology. Current research aims to identify genetic alterations that influence cell morphology and function. Such alterations may be a result of environmental changes or cell signaling. I'm interested in studying neural development by utilizing the model species, Danio rerio. Despite regenerative differences, the zebrafish provide a highly conserved model of the central nervous system. This semester, I will work on site-directed TALEN mutagenesis and subsequent elucidation of the small GTPase, Rasl11b, in the Ebert Lab. My goal is to investigate molecular pathways involved in the developing eye which may be translated to novel cell-based therapies for human eye and vision disorders.