Jason S. Meyer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology


University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, Ph.D.: 2004
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, Postdoc: 2010

Research Interests:
Research in the Meyer lab focuses on the use of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for studies of nervous system development and disease.  iPS cells are a unique type of stem cell generated by reprogramming somatic cell types such as skin fibroblasts to become stem cells that can become any cell type of the body.  As such, they serve as a novel platform for studies of neural development, disease progression, drug screening, and cellular repopulation.  Current projects in the Meyer lab utilize numerous experimental approaches to answer important questions in the following two categories:

Retinal fate specification from human iPS cells.  The acquisition of a retinal fate from an undifferentiated stem cell population proceeds through a number of developmental stages before a mature phenotype is specified.  However, the factors underlying these decisions remain somewhat unidentified.  Our previous studies have illustrated that human iPS cells can faithfully recapitulate each of the major stages of human retinogenesis, providing a unique in vitro model system with which to study the development of the retina.  The knowledge gained from such experimental approaches will allow for a greater ability to control the differentiation of stem cells toward a particular retinal fate for future translational applications.

Modeling diseases of the nervous system using human iPS cells.  In addition to the ability of iPS cells to study the development of particular cell types, these cells can also be used as a novel in vitro system for studies of human disease.  Through the derivation of iPS cells from the somatic cells of patients with known genetic diseases, the potential exists to differentiate these cells to the cell types affected by the disease process.  Throughout this differentiation process, it is possible to study the onset and progression of diseases in the particular cell types affected by the disorder.  Such a system also allows for the generation of customized stem cells from individual patients, as well as pharmacological screening with the goal of identifying novel compounds with potential beneficial effects on the disease process.

Selected Publications:

1. Ohlemacher SK, Sridhar A, Xiao Y, Hochstetler A, Sarfarazi M, Cummins TR, and Meyer JS (2016), Stepwise Differentiation of Retinal Ganglion Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitates Analysis of Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration, Stem Cells, in press.

2. Sridhar A, Ohlemacher SK, Langer KB, and Meyer JS (2016), Robust Differentiation of mRNA-Reprogrammed Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to a Retinal Lineage, Stem Cells Trans Med, in press.

3. Cooke JA and Meyer JS (2015), Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Ganglion Cells: Applications for the Study and Treatment of Optic Neuropathies, Curr Ophthal Reports, 3(3): 200-6.   

4. Ohlemacher SK, Iglesias CL, Sridhar A, and Meyer JS (2015), Generation of Highly Enriched Populations of Optic Vesicle-Like Retinal Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, Curr Prot Stem Cell Biol, .2;32:1H.8.1-1H.8.20.

5. Capowski EE, Simonett JM, Clark EM, Wright LS, Howden SE, Wallace KA, Petelinsek AM, Pinilla I, Phillips MJ, Meyer JS, Schneider BL, Thomson JA, and Gamm DM (2014), Loss of MITF expression during human embryonic stem cell differentiation disrupts retinal pigment epithelium development and optic vesicle cell proliferation, Hum Mol Gen 23(23):6332-44.

6. Zhong X, Gutierrez C, Xue T, Hampton C, Vergara MN, Cao LH, Peters A, Park TS, Zambidis ET, Meyer JS, Gamm DM, Yau KW, and Canto-Soler MV (2014), Generation of three-dimensional retinal tissue with functional photoreceptors from human iPSCs, Nature Comm 5:4047.

7. Cassidy L, Choi M, Meyer J, Chang R, and Seigel GM (2013), Immunoreactivity of pluripotent markers SSEA-5 and L1CAM in human tumors, teratomas, and induced pluripotent stem cells, J Biomarkers, Article ID 960862, doi:10.1155/2013/960862

8. Sridhar A, Steward MM, and Meyer JS (2013), Non-Xenogeneic Growth and Retinal Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2(4):255-64.

9. Steward MM, Sridhar A, and Meyer JS (2013), Neural Regeneration, Curr Top Microbiol Immunol, 367:163-91.

10. Meyer JS, Howden S, Wallace KA, Verhoeven A, Wright LS, Capowski EE, Pinilla I, Martin JM, Stewart R, Pattnaik B, Thomson JA, and Gamm DM (2011), Optic Vesicle Structures Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitate a Customized Approach to Retinal Disease Treatment, Stem Cells, 29(8):1206-18.

11. Gamm DM and Meyer JS (2010), Directed Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A Retina Perspective, Regen Med, 5(3):315-7.

12. Meyer JS, Shearer RL, Capowski E, Wright LS, Wallace KA, McMillan EL, Zhang SC, and Gamm DM (2009), Modeling Early Retinal Development with Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Proc Natl Acad Sci,106(39): 16698-703.

13. Wright LS*, Meyer JS*, Capowski EE, and Gamm DM (2009), Derivation and characterization of human retinal progenitor cells, within Stem Cell Transplantation to the Retina: Development, Plasticity, Regeneration and Repair, Ed. by D. Sakaguchi, H. Klassen, and M. Young.

14. Meyer JS, Tullis GT, Pierret CK, and Kirk MD (2009), Detection of Calcium Transients in Embryonic Stem Cells and Their Differentiated Progeny, Cell Mol Neurobiol, Cell Mol Neurobiol, 29(8):1191-203.

15. Gamm D, Wright LS, Capowski EE, Shearer RL, Meyer JS, Kim HJ, Schneider B, Melvan JN, and Svendsen CN (2008), Regulation of Prenatal Human Retinal Neurosphere Growth and Cell Fate Potential by Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Mash1, Stem Cells 26(12): 3182-93.

16. Zhang ZJ, Meyer JS, and Zhang SC (2007), hES differentiation: Neural cell lineages, within Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Ed. by J. Masters, B. Palsson, and J. Thomson.

17. Meyer JS, Katz ML, Maruniak JA, and Kirk MD (2006), Embryonic stem cell derived neural precursors incorporate into the degenerating retina and enhance survival of host photoreceptors, Stem Cells 24(2): 274-283.

18. Meyer JS, Katz ML, and Kirk MD (2005), Stem Cells for Retinal Degenerative Disorders, Ann NY Acad Sci 1049:135-145.

19. Meyer JS, Katz ML, Maruniak JA, and Kirk MD (2004), Neural differenation of mouse embryonic stem cells in vitro and after transplantation into eyes of mutant mice with rapid retinal degeneration, Brain Res 1014(1):131-144.

20. Kirk MD, Meyer JS, Miller MW, and Govind CK (2001), Dichotomy in Phasic-Tonic Neuromuscular Structure of Crayfish Inhibitory Axons, J Comp Neurol 435: 283-90.

Stark Neurosciences Research Institute | Neuroscience Research Building | 320 West 15th Street | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Phone: (317) 278-5848 | FAX: (317) 231-0203