Jeffrey Harder, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist

Researching axon degeneration and the roles of immunity in the central nervous system and diet in glaucoma.

I joined the Simon John lab in the spring of 2013, excited by the opportunity of working with Dr. John and using a multidisciplinary approach in my research. Using DBA/2J mice as a model of glaucoma, my current research focuses on axon degeneration, the role of innate immunity in the central nervous system, and the role of diet in neurodegeneration. This includes studying the role of JNKs in glaucomatous injury and working to identify early signaling events that may initiate injury. For another project, I am collaborating with faculty from Dalhousie University, working on defining human genes responsible for exfoliation syndrome glaucoma. I also work closely with fellow postdoc Pete Williams and help direct two research assistants in the lab.  This opportunity to collaborate and manage while working through complex projects is broadening my conceptual thinking abilities both scientifically and managerially, and improving the array of skill sets necessary for running a lab.

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Grants, honors and accomplishments

2014 The Barbara and Joseph Cohen Endowmen 

2013 Immunology Training Fellowship, The Jackson Laboratory 

2011 National Eye Institute Travel Grant, ARVO 

2011 Pathology Research Day Poster Award, University of Rochester Medical School. 

2008 Vision Training Fellowship, University of Rochester. 

2007 Pathology Graduate Program Award, University of Rochester Medical School. 

2001 Awarded Scholars Medal by Schreyers Honor College, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.