Frank Scalia, PhD
Professor of Cell Biology and Ophthalmology
Tel: (718) 270-1018 • Fax: (718) 270-3732
Background and Expertise
Dr. Scalia, a graduate of New York University, received his PhD in Neuroanatomy at the Downstate Medical Center in 1964, where he built his reputation for studies on the structure and connections of the olfactory system, leading to his discoveries on the parallel but separate projections of the main olfactory and vomeronasal systems. He later studied in the laboratory of W. Maxwell Cowan at Washington University in St Louis, where he learned to incorporate the new autoradiographic neural tracing method in his experiments. Combining the degeneration and anterograde transport techniques in a positive-negative paradigm allowed fine analysis of topographic connections in the pretectal region for the first time, and clarified the previously ambiguous cellular organization of this part of the visual system. Dr. Scalia contributed to the development of methodologies for the detection of the anterograde transport of HRP, both at the LM and EM level, and used this method for studies on the visual pathway in species as diverse as the rat and the frog. His work on the frog led to his current interest in optic nerve regeneration. Notable among his early studies of optic nerve regeneration were the in vivo delineation of growth cone morphology, the observation that retinal ganglion cells move about after section of the optic nerve, and the discovery that regenerating retinal axons can form functioning synaptic connections in the olfactory cortex. Most recently, Dr. Scalia has turned his attention to the role of the Eph/ephrin families in the development and remapping of the retinotectal system.