Nadean L. Brown

Nadean Brown

Position Title

Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine

4407A Tupper Hall

Research Interests

Mammalian Developmental Genetics

My research group aims to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating mouse ocular morphogenesis from the brain and retinal neurogenesis. We are investigating the genetic pathways underlying these processes during mammalian embryogenesis. This research will contribute to a better understanding of congenital eye diseases and ultimately inform therapies that can correct vision loss. Currently we are focused on understanding: 1) how retinal progenitor cells choose to become a specific type of neuron, although multiple fates are available 2) the role of the optic nerve head in patterning the retina and 3) how integrated signaling instruct the optic vesicle to grow out of the brain and undergo specific morphogenetic movements .

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics

Specialties / Focus

  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Genetics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Model Organism Genetics
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vision


  • Cell Biol CH402 Cell and Tissue Biology

Lab personnel

  • Joel Miesfeld, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Bernadett Bosze, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Katherine Greene, Technician

Honors and Awards

  • 1995-96 NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • 1995 NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)
  • 1996 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Course "Molecular Embryology of the Mouse" Participant
  • 2014 Visual Systems Development Gordon Conference Vice Chair
  • 2016 Visual Systems Development Gordon Conference Chair

    Professional Societies

    • Genetics Society of America
    • Society for Developmental Biology
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • International Society for Eye Research
    • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology


    • 1994 PhD Cell and Molecular Biology University of Wisconsin


    Kowalchuk, A.M., K.A. Maurer, F. Shoja-Taheri, N.L. Brown (2018)  Requirements for Neurogenin2 during mouse postnatal retinal neurogenesis.  Developmental Biology: Jul 24 pii: S0012-1606(17)30608-5 Epub ahead of print.

    Azimi, M., T.T. Le and N.L. Brown (2018) Presenilin gene function and Notch signaling feedback regulation in the developing mouse lens. Differentiation: Jul 25;102:40-52 Epub ahead of print.

    Miesfeld, J.B*., M-S. Moon*, A.N. Riesenberg, A. Reyer, R.A. Kovall and N.L. Brown (2018)  Rbpj is a direct regulator of Atoh7 transcription in the embryonic mouse retina.  Scientific Reports:Jul 5;8(1):10195 (*Co-first authors)

    Maurer, K.A., A.M. Kowalchuk, F. Shoja-Taheri and N.L. Brown (2018)  Integral bHLH Factor Regulation of Cell Cycle Exit and RGC Differentiation.  Developmental Dynamics: Epub ahead of print: doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24638

    Baker, N.E. and N.L. Brown (2018)  All in the Family: Proneural bHLH genes and neuronal diversity.  Development: 145: dev159426.

    Miesfeld, J.B., T. Glaser and N. L. Brown (2018) The dynamics of native Atoh7 protein expression during mouse retinal histogenesis, revealed with a new antibody. Gene Expression Patterns 27:114-121.

    Riesenberg, A.N., K.W. Conley, T.T. Le and N.L. Brown (2018)  Separate and coincident expression of Hes1 and Hes5 in the developing mouse eye. Developmental Dynamics 247: 212-221.

    Zhang, Q., J. Zogozewski, S. Cheng, R. Dixit, S. Zhang, J. de Melo, X. Mu, W.H. Klein, N.L. Brown, J.T. Wigle, C. Schuurmans, D.D. Eisenstat (2017). Regulation of Brn3b by DLX1 and DLX2 is required for retinal ganglion cell differentiation in the vertebrate retina. Development 144: 1698-1711.

    A.N. Riesenberg, and N.L. Brown (2016) Cell autonomous and nonautonomous requirements for Delltalike1 during early mouse retinal neurogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 245(6):631-40.

    Maurer, KA, A.N. Riesenberg, and N.L. Brown (2014) Notch signaling differentially regulates Atoh7 and Neurog2 in the distal mouse retina. Development 141: 3243-3254.

    Saravanamuthu, S.S., T.T. Le, C.Y. Gao, C. Liu, C. Radu, P. Pandiyan, J. Zhang, P.S. Zelenka and N.L. Brown. (2012) Conditional ablation of the Notch2 receptor in the ocular lens. Developmental Biology 362: 219-29.

    Prasov, L, Brown, NL and Glaser, T. (2010) A critical analysis of Atoh7 (Math5) splicing in the developing mouse retina. PLoS One. 2010; Aug 5(8):e12315.

    Macgregor S, Hewitt AW, Hysi PG, Ruddle JB,Medland SE, Henders AK, Gordon SD, Andrew T, McEvoy B, Sanfilippo PG, Carbonaro F, Tah V, Li YJ, Bennett SL, Craig JE, Montgomery GW, Tran-Viet KN, Brown NL, Spector TD, Martin NG, Young TL, Hammond CJ, Mackey DA. (2010) Genome-wide association identifies ATOH7 as a major gene determining human optic nerve size. Human Molecular Genetics. 340: 490-503.

    Riesenberg AN, Liu Z, Kopan R, Brown NL. (2009) Rbpj cell-autonomous regulation of retinal ganglion cell and cone photoreceptor fates in the mouse retina. Journal of Neuroscience 29: 12865-77.