Dr. Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald
Associate Professor Biology CBU
Assist. Professor (adjunct) Anatomy and Neurobiology, UT Memphis
Post doctoral Fellow The University of TN, Dept of Anatomy and Neurobiology 1986-1990
The University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN Ph.D. 1986 Anatomy and Neurobiology
Memphis State University, Memphis, TN M.S. 1979 Invertebrate Zoology
Memphis State University, Memphis, TN B.S. 1976 Invertebrate Zoology
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetes are two ocular diseases that are responsible for most of the new blindness that occurs in the United States. In both diseases, new vessel growth and decreased blood flow occur in the eye. My research has involved the investigation of the nature, basis and consequences of vascular abnormalities in the eye during these, and related, diseases. There are two vascular beds in most mammalian eyes that provide the blood supply to the retina. The inner retinal vessels, which originate from the central retinal artery, and the outer vascular bed termed the choroid, which originates from the ciliary arteries. One focus of the research has been to investigate the cell biological basis of retinal vascular endothelial cell proliferation, particularly the mechanisms controlling cell growth and migration within the eye. While the precise location of the new vessel growth is different in diabetes and AMD, they have a common result, ocular pathology. Parallel to this research, working in conjunction with Dr. Anton Reiner, we have studied the role of the choroidal vessels on retinal health. The choroid is the major vascular supply of the retina, yet little is known about the possible role that impairments in choroidal blood flow (ChBF) or its regulation may play in retinal disease. Decreases in ChBF may contribute to the etiology or progression of diseases such as, myopia, AMD, or glaucoma. Since decreased ChBF and vascular proliferation affect the health of the retina, research on the mechanisms controlling these vascular functions will provide information on the role of the normal vascular function in supporting retinal health and the role of defective vascular function in contributing to retinal disease. We use an avian model and a variety of techniques in this research, i.e., electron microscopy, electrophysiology, pharmacology, biochemistry and cell and molecular biology in order to investigate the effects of vascular disease on the health of the retina.
Abstracts To be presented Spring 2000
Kimble, T.D. H., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Cuthbertson, S.L., and Reiner, A. Progressive effects of decreased choroidal blood flow (ChBF) caused by unilateral destruction of the nucleus of Edinger-Westphal (EW) on the regional localization of GFAP and Calbindin in pigeon retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000.
Fitzgerald, M., Fallon, A., Fields, C., Viar, M.J., Johnson, L.R., and Johnson, D.A. Effect of polyamine depletion on migration of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Invest. Opthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000.
American Physiological Society Meeting
Johnson, D.A., Fallon, A., Ashraf, S., Fitzgerald, M., Viar, M.J. and Johnson, L.R. Polyamine function in retinal pigment epithelium. Submitted Am. Physiol. Soc. 2000.
Abstracts Presented 1999
Zagvazdin, Y.S., Meade, C.A., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., and Reiner, A. Evaluation of instructional skills of postdoctoral fellows with research experience in neuroscience. Soc Neurosci.25:262, 1999.
Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Zagvazdin, Y.S., Cuthbertson, S., Kimble, T., Lamoreaux, W., and Reiner, A. Muscarinic and nitrergic regulation of choroidal blood flow by the ciliary ganglion in birds. Workshop on: Autonomic regulation of choroidal blood flow and its implications for glaucoma. Erlangen Germany Feb, 1999. http://www.onjoph.com
Kunert, K., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Thomson, L., and Dorey, C.K. Microglia increase as photoreceptors decrease in the aging avian retina. Curr Eye Res.18(6): 440-447, 1999.
Shih, Y-F., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Cuthbertson, S.L., and Reiner, A. Influence of the ophthalmic nerve input to the choroid on choroidal blood flow and myopic eye growth in chicks. Exp. Eye Res. 69:9-20, 1999.
Cuthbertson, S.L., Zagvazdin, Y.S., Kimble, T.D.H., Lamoreaux, W.J., Jackson, B.J., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., and A. Reiner. Preganglionic Endings from nucleus of Edinger Westphal in pigeon ciliary ganglion contain neruronal nitric oxide synthase. Visual Neuroscience. 16:819-834., 1999.
Bhattacharya, S.T., Bayakly, N., Lloyd, R., Benson, M.T., Davenport, J., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Rothschild, M., Lamoreaux, W., and L. Coons. Dermacentor variabilis: Nitric oxide synthase and cGMP activity in salivary glands. In Press 10/99 Exp. Parasit.
Zagvazdin, Y.S., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., and A. Reiner. Role of muscarinic cholinergic transmission in Edinger-Westphal nucleus induced choroidal vasodilation in pigeon. In Press Exp. Eye Res 9/99.
Hodos, W., Miller, R.F., Ghim, M.M., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Toledo, C., and Reiner, A. Visual acuity losses in pigeons with CNS lesions that disrupt the adaptive regulation of choroidal blood flow. Visual Neurosci 15:273-287, 1998.
Lamoreaux, W.J., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., Reiner, A., Hasty, K.A., and S.T. Charles. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increases production of gelatinase A and decreases production of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) by microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Microvasc. Res. 55:29-42, 1998.
Zagvazdin, Y., Sancesario, G., Fitzgerald, M.E.C., and Reiner, A. Effects of Halothane and Urethane-chloralose anestheia on the pressor and cerebrovascular responses to 7-nitroindazole, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. Pharmacological Research, 38(5):339-346, 1998.
These publications are recent selections from 71 abstracts and 35 journal articles and 3 book chapters
Co- Investigator on the Shaping Science for the Future grant from the Assisi Foundation
NSF DUE 9850780 Development of a Neuroscience Laboratory. 7/98-6/99 with match from Assisi Foundation
At UT Memphis
NIH Aging Institute (AG-10538) "Choroidal blood flow and retinal pathology in aging" duration 6/92-5/96 PI: Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
State of Tennessee Neuroscience Center of Excellence - Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1986 - 1988.
Sigma Xi-Grants in Aide of Research - 1984. Project Title: A morphological and physiological comparison of the centipede Lithobius forficatus L., and the millipede, Spirobolus sp.
At University of Memphis
Sigma Xi-Grants in Aid of Research - 1978. Project Title: Ultrastructure of the protozoan, Ambiphrya ameiuri and its attachment to the gills of Ictalurus punctatus.
Currently a collaborator on the following grants
Baptist Research Foundation. PI. Steve Charles, M.D.,"Metalloproteinases in angiogenesis and their implication in ocular disease. Funded through 12/99
NIH Eye Institute (EY-05298) "Neural control of choroidal blood flow in the eye" PI. A. Reiner, Ph.D., duration 11/97-10/01.
File last modified February 11, 2000