About Dr. Dinculescu and the Lab

PRINCIPAL Investigator/assistant professor

Astra Dinculescu, PhD

Dr. Dinculescu received her PhD in Biochemistry from University of Florida in 2002. Her goals are to develop effective treatments for retinal diseases to prevent or delay the course of blindness in patients. Her main research is focused on Usher syndrome type 3 (USH3), an inherited condition leading to progressive hearing loss and retinal degeneration, caused by mutations in the Clarin-1 (CLRN1) gene. In her recent studies, she provided evidence that CLRN1 in adult retina is produced by Müller glia in several distinct species, including humans. This discovery opens new directions towards future mechanistic and therapeutic studies to prevent vision loss caused by CLRN1 mutations.

Astra Din

Learn more about The work of

The Dinculescu Lab

Our lab is developing new USH3 models that will contribute greatly to the advancement of our understanding of this disease, as well as our ability to treat it. Our goals are to understand the roles of CLRN1 protein in Müller glia and how its omission specifically impacts the postnatal and adult retina, to develop safe AAV-based gene-therapy tools for preventing blindness in USH3 patients. 


areas of interest

Usher Syndrome

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Recombinant AAV-mediated Gene Therapy

Lab Staff

The Dinculescu lab team
From Left to Right: Dr. J. Hugh McDowell, Dr. Susan Bolch, Dr. Lei Xu, William Ruddick, and Chiab Simpson