Optic nerve neuropathies, such as glaucoma, ischemic neuropathy, or physical nerve injury, cause irreversible blindness by impairing visual signaling from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to the brain. In the Benowitz Lab, Kimberly leads a research project that investigates how retinal immune cells (including microglia and astrocytes) respond after optic nerve injury, and how intrinsic gene regulatory networks regulate cell survival and axon regenerative capacity. The goal of this research is to identify and inhibit neurotoxic signaling mechanisms to increase RGC survival and axon regeneration after injury.


Kimberly Wong received her B.E. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering in 2011 from The Cooper Union in New York, NY, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Physiology in 2017 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Her dissertation research in Dr. Andrea Viczian's lab focused on understanding the biochemical signaling pathways regulating gene regulatory networks during eye field specification and cone photoreceptor genesis.

At Boston Children's Hospital, her research has been supported by the BrightFocus National Glaucoma Research Program and the Molecular Bases of Eye Disease Training Program (NEI/NIH T32). She manages research collaborations spanning institutions, mentors undergraduate research assistants, and is the former Co-President of the BCH Postdoctoral Association.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Regeneration Requires Complement and Myeloid Cell Activity within the Optic Nerve. J Neurosci. 2021 10 13; 41(41):8508-8531. View abstract
  2. Optic nerve regeneration: A long view. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2019; 37(6):525-544. View abstract
  3. Efficient retina formation requires suppression of both Activin and BMP signaling pathways in pluripotent cells. Biol Open. 2015 Mar 06; 4(4):573-83. View abstract