Adriana Di Polo, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience, University of Montreal
Axe neurosciences, CRCHUM
Adriana Di Polo received her B.Sc. degree in Biology from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, (Caracas, Venezuela) followed by a Ph.D. degree in Physiology from the University of California Los Angeles (Jules Stein Eye Institute). She then pursued post-doctoral training at the Center for Research in Neuroscience at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) where she investigated gene therapy approaches for neurotrophin-mediated retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection.
Dr. Di Polo joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the University of Montreal in 2000 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. Since 2013, her primary affiliation is the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM). Dr. Di Polo’s main research interest is to understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms that promote retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma. She is studying the contribution of glial cells and the retinal/optic nerve microvasculature to ganglion cell damage using experimental models of ocular hypertension. Dr. Di Polo seeks to use this knowledge to propel the development of novel therapeutics for glaucoma. Her background as a biologist trained in the neurosciences brings a new perspective to understanding the mechanisms underlying glaucoma pathophysiology.
Dr. Di Polo has received numerous awards and has delivered over 100 invited talks about her research around the world. She has participated as an organizer of scientific symposia, session Chair and/or Faculty at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the International Congress of Eye Research (ICER), the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN), and the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO). She has served on a number of scientific advisory boards including the Board of Scientific Counsellors at the National Eye Institute (NEI/NIH), the CAN Board of Directors, the Roche Foundation for Anemia Research (Switzerland), and the Glaucoma Foundation. Dr. Di Polo participates in many peer review panels including study sections at the NEI/NIH, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Glaucoma Foundation, National Glaucoma Research BrightFocus Foundation, Glaucoma Research Society of Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Medical Research Council (UK), Belgian Research Council, and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Training of highly qualified students and personnel has been a major focus of Dr. Di Polo’s career. She has mentored over 30 graduate and medical students in her laboratory and has participated in >80 supervisory and thesis examination committees. She served as President of the Graduate Research Training Program Committee at the University of Montreal (2010-2014). Dr. Di Polo serves as Editorial Board Member for Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) and has been inducted as an ARVO Silver Fellow, class of 2015.