Andrei Tkatchenko, MD, PhD

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Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmic Sciences (in Opthalmology and Pathology and Cell Biology)

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MS, MD, 1988 Biochemistry/Molecular biology, Pirgov Russian National Research Medical University
  • PhD, 1992 Molecular Biology, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
  • Fellowship: 1995 Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
  • Fellowship: 2003 Harvard Univ Medical School

Honors & Awards

1988 Ph.D. Fellowship from the Russian Academy of Sciences

1989 Selected among 70 top graduate students of the USSR in the contest run by Oxford University

1996 Fellowship from Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) , France

2001 Selected as Dana/Mahoney Research Fellow by the Harvard Neuroscience Institute

2002 Selected as Dana/Mahoney Research Fellow by the Harvard Neuroscience Institute

2018 Jonas Lecture "Pharmacogenomics pipeline for anti-myopia drug development: a new path to myopia cure", Columbia University, New York, NY, USA


Research in the Tkatchenko lab revolves around gene-environment interaction in refractive eye development, characterization of signaling pathways underlying visually guided eye growth, and development of anti-myopia drugs using systems genetics and pharmacogenomics approaches.

Refractive eye development is a tightly coordinated developmental process driven by visual input and controlled by genetic background. The mechanisms of refractive eye development have been the subjects of intense investigation, which revealed that refractive eye development is regulated by the sign of optical defocus via an elaborate signaling cascade located in the retina and other ocular tissues. Excessive exposure to several environmental factors such as nearwork and reading was shown to shift refractive eye development towards myopia, which is rapidly becoming the most prevalent eye disorder in the world. The prevalence of myopia in the U.S. has increased from 25% to ~48% in the last 40 years. The worldwide prevalence of myopia is predicted to increase from the current 25% to 50% in the next three decades, while the prevalence already exceeds 80% in several parts of Asia. Myopia often leads to serious blinding complications such as retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration. It also represents a major risk factor for a number of other serious ocular pathologies such as cataract and glaucoma. Because of the increasing prevalence, myopia is rapidly becoming one of the leading causes of vision loss in several parts of the world.

Although environmental factors play a very important role in the development of myopia, the contribution of genetic factors modulating molecular signaling underlying refractive eye development has been estimated to be 60-80%. Identification and characterization of the genes and signaling pathways regulating refractive eye development is the main challenge on the way towards the development of safe and effective treatment options for myopia.

Tkatchenko lab was the first to apply large-scale gene expression profiling to study myopia and was the first to demonstrate that the development of myopia is associated with large-scale changes in gene expression. The laboratory also discovered that the postnatal peripheral retina of primates harbors proliferating neuronal progenitors, which increase in numbers in the myopic eyes. The first gene (APLP2) responsible for gene-environment interaction in refractive eye development and causing myopia in children exposed to prolong reading was also discovered by the Tkatchenko laboratory.

Most recently, the laboratory has identified major retinal pathways regulating refractive eye development, and established that visually guided eye growth is regulated by optical defocus via well-defined retinal genetic networks. The information about this networks was used to develop a pharmacogenomics pipeline for anti-myopia drug development which already produced several promising drug candidates.

Selected Publications


Tkatchenko TV, Shah RL, Nagasaki T, Tkatchenko AV. Analysis of genetic networks regulating refractive eye development in collaborative cross progenitor strain mice reveals new genes and pathways underlying human myopia. BMC medical genomics. 2019;12(1):113.

Troilo D, Smith EL, 3rd, Nickla DL, Ashby R, Tkatchenko AV, Ostrin LA, et al. IMI - Report on Experimental Models of Emmetropization and Myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019;60(3):M31-M88.

Cooper J, Tkatchenko AV. A Review of Current Concepts of the Etiology and Treatment of Myopia. Eye Contact Lens. 2018;44(4):231-47.

Tkatchenko TV, Troilo D, Benavente-Perez A, Tkatchenko AV. Gene expression in response to optical defocus of opposite signs reveals bidirectional mechanism of visually guided eye growth. PLoS Biol. 2018;16(10):e2006021.

Tkatchenko AV, Luo X, Tkatchenko TV, Vaz C, Tanavde VM, Maurer-Stroh S, et al. Large-Scale microRNA Expression Profiling Identifies Putative Retinal miRNA-mRNA Signaling Pathways Underlying Form-Deprivation Myopia in Mice. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162541.

Tkatchenko AV, Tkatchenko TV, Guggenheim JA, Verhoeven VJ, Hysi PG, Wojciechowski R, et al. APLP2 Regulates Refractive Error and Myopia Development in Mice and Humans. PLoS Genet. 2015;11(8):e1005432.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Braun RD, Bawa G, Kumar P, Avrutsky I, et al. Photopic visual input is necessary for emmetropization in mice. Exp Eye Res. 2013;115C:87-95.

Bawa G, Tkatchenko TV, Avrutsky I, Tkatchenko AV. Variational analysis of the mouse and rat eye optical parameters. Biomed Opt Express. 2013;4:2585-95.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Tkatchenko AV. Analysis of postnatal eye development in the mouse with high-resolution small animal magnetic resonance imaging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(1):21-7.

Tkatchenko TV, Shen Y, Tkatchenko AV. Mouse experimental myopia has features of primate myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(3):1297-303.