Frank M. Dyka, Ph.D.

Academic TitleDr. Dyka

Assistant Scientist

Contact Information


Dr. Dyka earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany for his work on glaucomatous degenerations. He then undertook postdoctoral training at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada where he received two postdoctoral fellowships to continue his studies. During this time he conducted extensive research on X-linked retinoschisis and retinitis pigmentosa.

His interest in retinal degenerations brought Dr. Dyka to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida in Gainesville to develop novel gene therapies for Usher syndrome and various retinal disorders. His research is focused on adeno-associated virus mediated gene replacement therapies. Apart from that he is also interested in the molecular causes for retinal degenerative diseases.

One focus of his research attempts to expand the packaging limitations of AAV by developing dual vector systems. Disorders like Usher syndrome 1B and recessive Stargardt’s disease are caused by mutations in large genes exceeding the 4.9kb payload limit of AAV. Dual vectors which carry parts of a gene are able to restore the complete gene through recruitment of the recombination machinery in cells. This work is currently applied to proof-of-concept studies of Usher syndrome and recessive Stargardt’s disease.

In another project Dr. Dyka is developing cell type specific promoters for use in AAV. Many retinal disorders are caused by mutations in genes which are specific to a certain cell type. The loss of these cells leads to a secondary loss of other cells. Another reason for using cell type specific promoters is based on the knowledge that expression of proteins from a ubiquitous promoter might be damaging to cells not directly affected by the mutated gene. Some promoters developed by Dr. Dyka are currently being tested for their potential utility in treatments for achromatopsia and congenital stationary night blindness.


  • Lopes VS, Boye SE, Louie CM, Boye S, Dyka F, Chiodo V, Fofo H, Hauswirth WW, Williams DS (2013) Retinal gene therapy with a large MYO7A cDNA using adeno-associated virus. Gene Ther. 2013 Jan 24 epub.
  • Boye SL, Peshenko IV, Huang WC, Min SH, McDoom I, Kay CN, Liu X, Dyka FM, Foster TC, Umino Y, Karan S, Jacobson SG, Baehr W, Dizhoor AM, Hauswirth W, Boye SE (2012) AAV-mediated gene therapy in the guanylate cyclase (RetGC1/RetGC2) double knockout mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis. Hum Gene Ther. Dec 4.
  • Reboul E, Dyka FM, Quazi F, Molday RS (2012) Cholesterol transport via ABCA1: New insights from solid-phase binding assay. Biochimie. doi:pii: S0300-9084(12)00454-3. 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.11.009.
  • Boye S, Conlon T, Erger K, Ryals R, Neeley A, Cossette T, Pang JJ, Dyka F, Hauswirth W, Boye S (2011) Long term preservation of cone photoreceptors and restoration of cone function by gene therapy in the guanylate cyclase-1 knockout (GC1KO) mouse. IOVS 52(10):7098-108. PMID: 21778276
  • Holopainen JM, Cheng CL, Molday LL, Johal G, Coleman J, Dyka F, Hii T, Ahn J, Molday RS (2010) Interaction and localization of the retinitis pigmentosa protein RP2 and NSF in retinal photoreceptor cells. Biochemistry 49(35):7439-47. PMID: 20669900
  • Walia S, Fishman GA, Molday RS, Dyka FM, Kumar NM, Ehlinger MA, Stone EM (2008)
  • Relation of Response to Treatment with Dorzolamide in X-linked Retinoschisis to the Mechanism of Functional Loss in Retinoschisin. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009 Jan;147(1):111-115. PMID: 18834580
  • Dyka FM, Wu WWH, Pfeifer TA, Molday LL, Grigliatti TA, Molday RS (2008) Characterization and purification of the discoidin domain containing protein retinoschisin (RS1) and its interaction with glactose. J Biochem. 47(35):9098-106. PMID: 18690710
  • Dyka FM, Molday RS (2007) Coexpression and interaction of wild-type and missense RS1 mutants associated with X-linked retinoschisis: its relevance to gene therapy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 48(6):2491-7. PMID: 17525175
  • Iannaccone A, Mura M, Dyka FM, Ciccarelli ML, Yashar BM, Ayyagari R, Jablonski MM, Molday RS (2006) An unusual X-linked retinoschisis phenotype and biochemical characterization of the W112C RS1 mutation. Vision Res 46(22):3845-52. PMID: 16884758
  • Dyka FM, May CA, Enz R (2005) Subunits of the epithelial sodium channel family are differentially expressed in the retina of mice with ocular hypertension. J Neurochem 94(1):120-8. PMID: 15953355
  • Dyka FM, May CA, Enz R (2004) Metabotropic glutamate receptors are differentially regulated under elevated intraocular pressure. J Neurochem 90:190-202. PMID: 15198678
  • Ludwig H, Homuth G, Schmalisch M, Dyka FM, Hecker M, Stülke J (2001) Transcription of glycolytic genes and operons in Bacillus subtilis: evidence for the presence of multiple levels of control of the gapA operon. Mol Microbiol 41:409-422. PMID: 11489127