Dr. Michael Reber obtained his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from University Diderot, Paris (France). Subsequently, he worked as Research Associate in Dr. Greg Lemke's group at The Salk Institute in San Diego (USA) to study neuroscience. Since then, his research program has focused on the development of the visual system, particularly the formation of the network between the eye and the brain in normal conditions and in eye diseases. He obtained a position as a Scientist/Professor at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Research in Strasbourg, France. In 2018, Dr. Reber joined the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute at the Krembil Research Institute (University Health Network) in Toronto to pursue his work on visual network formation and function.
Brain function relies on the efficient processing of sensory information which requires the formation and interaction of sensory maps in different areas. Vision is the prevailing sense in several species including humans and any damage to the retina or the optic nerve impairs the transfer of the visual information to the brain and therefore affects vision. Visual information carried by the optic nerve is processed in different brain structures including the superior colliculus. This multi-layered midbrain area is conserved through evolution and is involved in visual attention by integrating multi-sensory inputs. Dr. Reber's research examines the mechanisms governing the formation of the visual inputs/network into the superior colliculus and the effect of injuries (neurodegenerative diseases/trauma) on visual connectivity and their subsequent visually-driven behavior.
He believes that an integrated view of visual system development and function will help us understand how vision develops and works in normal and pathological contexts. In addition, it will enable the development of new strategies to restore/preserve vision and related behavior in neurodegenerative eye diseases or brain injury.
Associate Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences (DOVS), University of Toronto
Cross-Appointed to the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) and Cell and Systems Biology (CSB), University of Toronto