Daniel T. Organisciak, PhD

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Professor Emeritus

Education History

Ph.D.: 1972, State University of New York at Buffalo, Biochemistry (J.D. Klingman)
Postdoctoral: State University of New York at Buffalo, Physiology (W.K. Noell)

Research Statement

Dr. Organisciak's lab
The Petticrew Research Laboratory is focused on vision loss arising from retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration and how long term light environment and genetics can impact that process. The protective effects of antioxidants and circadian rhythms in preventing retinal damage from intense light are used to model mechanisms underlying cell death. Our work employs gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectral analysis of retinal proteins, gene chip and PCR technology, as well as traditional laboratory techniques. Understanding molecular mechanisms of photoreceptor cell damage and loss in various animal models can provide valuable insights into the effects of light in clinical disorders and may form the basis of future therapies to prevent or delay visual cell loss.


  1. D.T. Organisciak, R. Darrow, Xiaorong Gu, L. Barsalou, J. Crabb. Genetic, Age and Light Mediated Effects on Crystallin Protein Expression in the Retina. Photochem. Photobiol. 82:1088-1096 (2006).
  2. R.E. Marc, B.W. Jones, C.B. Watt, F.Vazquez-Chona, D.K. Vaughan, D.T. Organisciak. Extreme Retinal Remodeling Triggered by Light Damage: Implications for Age Related Macular Degeneration. Molecular Vision14:782-806 (2008).
  3. D.T. Organisciak and D.K. Vaughan. Retinal Light Damage: Mechanisms and Protection. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 29:113-134 (2010).
  4. D. Hajkova, Y. Imanishi, V. Palamalai, K.C. Sekhar Rao, C. Yuan, Q. Sheng, H. Tang, R. Zeng, R.M. Darrow, D.T. Organisciak, M. Miyagi. Proteomic Changes in the Photoreceptor Outer Segment Upon Intense Light Exposure. J. Proteome Research 9: 1173-1181 (2010).
  5. D. Organisciak, R. Darrow, L. Barsalou, C. Rapp, B. McDonald, P. Wong. Light Induced and Circadian Effects on Retinal Photoreceptor Cell Crystallins. Photochemistry & Photobiology 87: 151-159 (2011).
  6. D. Organisciak, P. Wong, C. Rapp, R. Darrow, A. Ziesel, R. Rangarajan, J. Lang. Light Induced Retinal Degeneration is Prevented by Zinc, a Component in the AREDS Formulation. Photochemistry & Photobiology 88: 1396-1407 (2012).
  7. D.T. Organisciak, R.M. Darrow, C.M. Rapp, J.P. Smuts, D.W. Armstrong, J.D. Lang. Prevention of retinal light damage by zinc oxide combined with rosemary extract. Molecular Vision.19:1433-1445 (2013).
  8. P.Wong, D.T. Organisciak, A.C. Ziesel, M.A.Chrenek, M.L. Patterson. Circadian effects on retinal light damage. In: The Retina and Circadian Rhythms, Editors, G. Tosini, P.M. Iuvone, D.G. McMahon, S.P. Collin, Springer, NY pp. 131-170 (2014).
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