Profiles Header - Harvard Catalyst Profiles Header – Harvard Catalyst

Harvard Catalyst Profiles

Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows.

Kip Connor, Ph.D.


Available: 10/16/18, Expires: 10/30/20

Retinal detachment and subsequent neurodegeneration of the retina continues to be a leading cause of visual impairment resulting from ocular trauma. Photoreceptor apoptosis is a major cause of visual loss in retinal detachment (RD). However, the underlying processes that facilitate this have remained elusive. This project aims to identify the initiating factors involved in photoreceptor cell death (retinal degeneration) in response to traumatic retinal detachment. This study is innovative in that it will begin to define the initiating factors involved in retinal neurodegeneration, a common cause of vision loss. When photoreceptor degeneration occurs it tends to correlate to a rise in immune activity. One possibility is that the immune system is mounting a response against the photoreceptors in the damaged retina to specifically target their removal. This can severely impact visual acuity, understanding the mechanism by which the immune system facilitates photoreceptor apoptosis in retinal detachment remains unresolved and it could be of significant therapeutic value to dampen its effects. The retina is specialized neural tissue and is commonly referred to as the “window into the brain”. Findings in this proposal will likely encompass similar mechanisms found in other neurodegenerations resulting from traumatic brain injury.

The PI and a senior fellow in the laboratory will oversee the student working on this project. They will learn how to effectively employ the mouse model of retinal detachment and utilize key transgenic animals in order to define immune mediators of retinal degeneration. Additionally, if time allows, key pharmaceutical therapeutics will be identified and utilized in vivo in order to temper neurodegeneration.

Available: 05/28/17, Expires: 08/31/19

Pathological neovascularization is a hallmark of numerous vascular diseases. Since the balance between neovessel formation and regression determines severity, modulating neovessel growth is highly desirable. Vascular regression coincides with a spike in immune activity. We therefore hypothesize (and pilot studies suggest) that pathologic vessel regression may be mediated, in part, through the complement system, an integral part of innate immunity. The complement system is an intricate immune surveillance system that is able to discriminate between healthy host tissue, diseased host tissue, apoptotic cells and foreign invaders and is able to modulate the elimination and repair of host tissue accordingly.

Students will work to define the role of the complement system in a mouse model of oxygen induced retinopathy (a model for neovascular disease). Students will have to be comfortable working with animals (previous experience with mice is a plus).

Characterizing the role of the complement system in vascular regression in a mouse model of retinopathy
Summer, 06/17/13 - 08/16/13

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R01EY027303 (CONNOR, KIP M) May 1, 2018 - Apr 30, 2021
    The Alternative Complement System Facilitates Photoreceptor Degeneration in Retinal Detachment.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. R01EY022084 (CONNOR, KIP M) Apr 1, 2012 - Mar 31, 2016
    Complement Mediated Neovascularization in Retinopathy
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. F32EY017789 (CONNOR, KIP M) Feb 13, 2007 - Feb 12, 2009
    Dietary Control Angiogenesis in Retinopathy
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
List All   |   Timeline
  1. Pearsall EA, Connor KM. Atypical Protein Kinase C: Breaking Down Barriers in Ocular Disease? Am J Pathol. 2018 Oct; 188(10):2142-2146. PMID: 30220553.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Inafuku S, Klokman G, Connor KM. The Alternative Complement System Mediates Cell Death in Retinal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018; 11:278. PMID: 30174588.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Okunuki Y, Mukai R, Pearsall EA, Klokman G, Husain D, Park DH, Korobkina E, Weiner HL, Butovsky O, Ksander BR, Miller JW, Connor KM. Microglia inhibit photoreceptor cell death and regulate immune cell infiltration in response to retinal detachment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 07 03; 115(27):E6264-E6273. PMID: 29915052.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Yanai R, Chen S, Uchi SH, Nanri T, Connor KM, Kimura K. Attenuation of choroidal neovascularization by dietary intake of ?-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and lutein in mice. PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0196037. PMID: 29694386.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Mukai R, Okunuki Y, Husain D, Kim CB, Lambris JD, Connor KM. The Complement System Is Critical in Maintaining Retinal Integrity during Aging. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018; 10:15. PMID: 29497373.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Hasegawa E, Inafuku S, Mulki L, Okunuki Y, Yanai R, Smith KE, Kim CB, Klokman G, Bielenberg DR, Puli N, Falck JR, Husain D, Miller JW, Edin ML, Zeldin DC, Lee KSS, Hammock BD, Schunck WH, Connor KM. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase lipid metabolites are significant second messengers in the resolution of choroidal neovascularization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 09 05; 114(36):E7545-E7553. PMID: 28827330.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Kim CB, D'Amore PA, Connor KM. Revisiting the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Eye Brain. 2016; 8:67-79. PMID: 27499653.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Kim C, Smith KE, Castillejos A, Diaz-Aguilar D, Saint-Geniez M, Connor KM. The alternative complement pathway aids in vascular regression during the early stages of a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. FASEB J. 2016 Mar; 30(3):1300-5. PMID: 26631482; PMCID: PMC4750413.
  9. Shoda H, Yanai R, Yoshimura T, Nagai T, Kimura K, Sobrin L, Connor KM, Sakoda Y, Tamada K, Ikeda T, Sonoda KH. Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Suppress Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis in Association with Inhibition of Th1 and Th17 Cell Function. PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0138241. PMID: 26393358; PMCID: PMC4578775.
  10. Sweigard JH, Matsumoto H, Smith KE, Kim LA, Paschalis EI, Okonuki Y, Castillejos A, Kataoka K, Hasegawa E, Yanai R, Husain D, Lambris JD, Vavvas D, Miller JW, Connor KM. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jul 22; 7(297):297ra116. PMID: 26203084; PMCID: PMC4779952.
  11. Sampson JF, Hasegawa E, Mulki L, Suryawanshi A, Jiang S, Chen WS, Rabinovich GA, Connor KM, Panjwani N. Galectin-8 Ameliorates Murine Autoimmune Ocular Pathology and Promotes a Regulatory T Cell Response. PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0130772. PMID: 26126176; PMCID: PMC4488339.
  12. Kataoka K, Matsumoto H, Kaneko H, Notomi S, Takeuchi K, Sweigard JH, Atik A, Murakami Y, Connor KM, Terasaki H, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Macrophage- and RIP3-dependent inflammasome activation exacerbates retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor cell death. Cell Death Dis. 2015 Apr 23; 6:e1731. PMID: 25906154; PMCID: PMC4650542.
  13. Mulki L, Sweigard JH, Connor KM. Assessing leukocyte-endothelial interactions under flow conditions in an ex vivo autoperfused microflow chamber assay. J Vis Exp. 2014 Dec 30; (94). PMID: 25590688; PMCID: PMC4354482.
  14. Hasegawa E, Sweigard H, Husain D, Olivares AM, Chang B, Smith KE, Birsner AE, D'Amato RJ, Michaud NA, Han Y, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Haider NB, Connor KM. Characterization of a spontaneous retinal neovascular mouse model. PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e106507. PMID: 25188381; PMCID: PMC4154693.
  15. Yanai R, Mulki L, Hasegawa E, Takeuchi K, Sweigard H, Suzuki J, Gaissert P, Vavvas DG, Sonoda KH, Rothe M, Schunck WH, Miller JW, Connor KM. Cytochrome P450-generated metabolites derived from ?-3 fatty acids attenuate neovascularization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 01; 111(26):9603-8. PMID: 24979774; PMCID: PMC4084420.
  16. Matsumoto H, Murakami Y, Kataoka K, Lin H, Connor KM, Miller JW, Zhou D, Avruch J, Vavvas DG. Mammalian STE20-like kinase 2, not kinase 1, mediates photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Cell Death Dis. 2014 May 29; 5:e1269. PMID: 24874741; PMCID: PMC4047884.
  17. Matsumoto H, Kataoka K, Tsoka P, Connor KM, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Strain difference in photoreceptor cell death after retinal detachment in mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 May 22; 55(7):4165-74. PMID: 24854853; PMCID: PMC4089419.
  18. Sweigard JH, Yanai R, Gaissert P, Saint-Geniez M, Kataoka K, Thanos A, Stahl GL, Lambris JD, Connor KM. The alternative complement pathway regulates pathological angiogenesis in the retina. FASEB J. 2014 Jul; 28(7):3171-82. PMID: 24668752; PMCID: PMC4062823.
  19. Takeuchi K, Yanai R, Kumase F, Morizane Y, Suzuki J, Kayama M, Brodowska K, Nakazawa M, Miller JW, Connor KM, Vavvas DG. EGF-like-domain-7 is required for VEGF-induced Akt/ERK activation and vascular tube formation in an ex vivo angiogenesis assay. PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e91849. PMID: 24647208; PMCID: PMC3960138.
  20. Adini I, Ghosh K, Adini A, Chi ZL, Yoshimura T, Benny O, Connor KM, Rogers MS, Bazinet L, Birsner AE, Bielenberg DR, D'Amato RJ. Melanocyte-secreted fibromodulin promotes an angiogenic microenvironment. J Clin Invest. 2014 Jan; 124(1):425-36. PMID: 24355922; PMCID: PMC3871226.
  21. Murakami Y, Matsumoto H, Roh M, Giani A, Kataoka K, Morizane Y, Kayama M, Thanos A, Nakatake S, Notomi S, Hisatomi T, Ikeda Y, Ishibashi T, Connor KM, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Programmed necrosis, not apoptosis, is a key mediator of cell loss and DAMP-mediated inflammation in dsRNA-induced retinal degeneration. Cell Death Differ. 2014 Feb; 21(2):270-7. PMID: 23954861; PMCID: PMC3890945.
  22. Saint-Geniez M, Jiang A, Abend S, Liu L, Sweigard H, Connor KM, Arany Z. PGC-1a regulates normal and pathological angiogenesis in the retina. Am J Pathol. 2013 Jan; 182(1):255-65. PMID: 23141926; PMCID: PMC3538026.
  23. Yanai R, Thanos A, Connor KM. Complement involvement in neovascular ocular diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012; 946:161-83. PMID: 21948368.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Sapieha P, Stahl A, Chen J, Seaward MR, Willett KL, Krah NM, Dennison RJ, Connor KM, Aderman CM, Liclican E, Carughi A, Perelman D, Kanaoka Y, Sangiovanni JP, Gronert K, Smith LE. 5-Lipoxygenase metabolite 4-HDHA is a mediator of the antiangiogenic effect of ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sci Transl Med. 2011 Feb 09; 3(69):69ra12. PMID: 21307302; PMCID: PMC3711031.
  25. Stahl A, Sapieha P, Connor KM, Sangiovanni JP, Chen J, Aderman CM, Willett KL, Krah NM, Dennison RJ, Seaward MR, Guerin KI, Hua J, Smith LE. Short communication: PPAR gamma mediates a direct antiangiogenic effect of omega 3-PUFAs in proliferative retinopathy. Circ Res. 2010 Aug 20; 107(4):495-500. PMID: 20634487; PMCID: PMC2975617.
  26. Stahl A, Connor KM, Sapieha P, Chen J, Dennison RJ, Krah NM, Seaward MR, Willett KL, Aderman CM, Guerin KI, Hua J, Löfqvist C, Hellström A, Smith LE. The mouse retina as an angiogenesis model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Jun; 51(6):2813-26. PMID: 20484600; PMCID: PMC2891451.
  27. Connor KM, Krah NM, Dennison RJ, Aderman CM, Chen J, Guerin KI, Sapieha P, Stahl A, Willett KL, Smith LE. Quantification of oxygen-induced retinopathy in the mouse: a model of vessel loss, vessel regrowth and pathological angiogenesis. Nat Protoc. 2009; 4(11):1565-73. PMID: 19816419.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Mammoto A, Connor KM, Mammoto T, Yung CW, Huh D, Aderman CM, Mostoslavsky G, Smith LE, Ingber DE. A mechanosensitive transcriptional mechanism that controls angiogenesis. Nature. 2009 Feb 26; 457(7233):1103-8. PMID: 19242469; PMCID: PMC2708674.
  29. Stahl A, Connor KM, Sapieha P, Willett KL, Krah NM, Dennison RJ, Chen J, Guerin KI, Smith LE. Computer-aided quantification of retinal neovascularization. Angiogenesis. 2009; 12(3):297-301. PMID: 19757106; PMCID: PMC4005267.
  30. Adini A, Fainaru O, Udagawa T, Connor KM, Folkman J, D'Amato RJ. Matrigel cytometry: a novel method for quantifying angiogenesis in vivo. J Immunol Methods. 2009 Mar 15; 342(1-2):78-81. PMID: 19109967.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Lofqvist C, Willett KL, Aspegren O, Smith AC, Aderman CM, Connor KM, Chen J, Hellstrom A, Smith LE. Quantification and localization of the IGF/insulin system expression in retinal blood vessels and neurons during oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Apr; 50(4):1831-7. PMID: 18997086.
    View in: PubMed
  32. Chen J, Connor KM, Aderman CM, Willett KL, Aspegren OP, Smith LE. Suppression of retinal neovascularization by erythropoietin siRNA in a mouse model of proliferative retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Mar; 50(3):1329-35. PMID: 18952918; PMCID: PMC2892257.
  33. Chen J, Connor KM, Aderman CM, Smith LE. Erythropoietin deficiency decreases vascular stability in mice. J Clin Invest. 2008 Feb; 118(2):526-33. PMID: 18219389; PMCID: PMC2213374.
  34. Connor KM, Hempel N, Nelson KK, Dabiri G, Gamarra A, Belarmino J, Van De Water L, Mian BM, Melendez JA. Manganese superoxide dismutase enhances the invasive and migratory activity of tumor cells. Cancer Res. 2007 Nov 01; 67(21):10260-7. PMID: 17974967.
    View in: PubMed
  35. Chen J, Connor KM, Smith LE. Overstaying their welcome: defective CX3CR1 microglia eyed in macular degeneration. J Clin Invest. 2007 Oct; 117(10):2758-62. PMID: 17909623; PMCID: PMC1994636.
  36. Connor KM, SanGiovanni JP, Lofqvist C, Aderman CM, Chen J, Higuchi A, Hong S, Pravda EA, Majchrzak S, Carper D, Hellstrom A, Kang JX, Chew EY, Salem N, Serhan CN, Smith LEH. Increased dietary intake of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces pathological retinal angiogenesis. Nat Med. 2007 Jul; 13(7):868-873. PMID: 17589522.
    View in: PubMed
  37. Lofqvist C, Chen J, Connor KM, Smith AC, Aderman CM, Liu N, Pintar JE, Ludwig T, Hellstrom A, Smith LE. IGFBP3 suppresses retinopathy through suppression of oxygen-induced vessel loss and promotion of vascular regrowth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 19; 104(25):10589-94. PMID: 17567756; PMCID: PMC1965557.
  38. Connor, K.M., Aderman, C.M, Chen, J., Higuchi, A., SanGiovanni, J.-P., Chew, E.Y., Carper, D., Salem, N., Smith, L.E.H. Dietary omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Protect Against Pathological Retinal Neovascularization Through Modulation of Microglial Derived TNF-alpha. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. 2007.
  39. Lofqvist, C, Chen, C, Connor, K.M., Smith, A.C.H, Aderman, C.M, Liu, N, Pintar, J.E, Ludwig, T, Hellstrom, A, Smith, L.E.H. IGFBP3 suppresses retinopathy through suppression of oxygen-induced vessel loss and promotion of vascular regrowth. PNAS. 2007; 104(25):10589-94.
  40. Connor, K.M., Aderman, C.M., Chen, J., Higuchi, A., SanGiovanni, J-P., Serhan, C.N., Smith, L.E.H. . Increasing dietary omega-3 PUFA reduces pathological angiogenesis via regulation of local resolvins, protectins and TNF-alpha. Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine 13th Annual Meeting. 2006.
  41. Dasgupta J, Subbaram S, Connor KM, Rodriguez AM, Tirosh O, Beckman JS, Jourd'Heuil D, Melendez JA. Manganese superoxide dismutase protects from TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis by increasing the steady-state production of H2O2. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 Jul-Aug; 8(7-8):1295-305. PMID: 16910777.
    View in: PubMed
  42. Connor, K.M., Aderman, C.M, Chen, SanGiovanni, J.-P., Chew, E.Y., Carper, D., Salem, N., Smith, L.E.H. . Dietary and Pharmalogic intervention in Proliferative Retinopathy. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. 2006.
  43. Nelson KK, Subbaram S, Connor KM, Dasgupta J, Ha XF, Meng TC, Tonks NK, Melendez JA. Redox-dependent matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression is regulated by JNK through Ets and AP-1 promoter motifs. J Biol Chem. 2006 May 19; 281(20):14100-10. PMID: 16569638.
    View in: PubMed
  44. Smith, L.E. and Connor, K.M. . A Radical Twist in Lipid Mediated Vascular Death. Nature Medicine. 2005; 11(12):1276-6.
  45. Smith LE, Connor KM. A radically twisted lipid regulates vascular death. Nat Med. 2005 Dec; 11(12):1275-6. PMID: 16333261.
    View in: PubMed
  46. Kip M Connor. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Regulates the Malignant Phenotype through the Production of Mitochondrial Derived Hydrogen Peroxide. 2005.
  47. Connor, K.M., Sita Subbaram, Kevin J. Regan, Kristin K. Nelson, Joseph E. Mazurkiewicz, Peter J. Bartholomew, Andrew E. Aplin, Yu-Tzu Tai, Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Sonia C. Flores and J. Andres Melendez. Sod2-derived H2O2 Regulates the Angiogenic Phenotype via PTEN Oxidation. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2005; 280(17):16916-24.
  48. Connor KM, Subbaram S, Regan KJ, Nelson KK, Mazurkiewicz JE, Bartholomew PJ, Aplin AE, Tai YT, Aguirre-Ghiso J, Flores SC, Melendez JA. Mitochondrial H2O2 regulates the angiogenic phenotype via PTEN oxidation. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 29; 280(17):16916-24. PMID: 15701646.
    View in: PubMed
  49. Connor, K.M., Mazurkiewicz J.E., Melendez, J.A. . Mitochondrial-derived H2O2 mediates the cellular redistribution of phosphoinositides. Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine 11th Annual Meeting. 2004.
  50. Connor, K.M., Regan K., Nelson, K., Goswami, P., Melendez, J.A. . Hydrogen Peroxide Regulates the PI3K Signaling Cascade via Oxidation of the Tumor Suppressor PTEN. American Association for Cancer Research. 2004.
  51. Connor, K.M., Nelson, K.K., Melendez, J.A. . Mitochondrial-derived Hydrogen Peroxide Regulates PI3K Signaling via PTEN Oxidation. Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine 10th Annual Meeting. 2003.
  52. Connor, K.M., Nelson, K.K., Goswami, Prabat, Melendez, J.A. . Sod2-Derrived Hydrogen Peroxide Regulates the PI3K Signaling Cascade. Pathobiology of Cancer Workshop, AACR. 2003.
  53. Connor, K.M., Nelson, K.K., Regan, Kevin J., Lotz, S.A., Goswami, P., Melendez, J.A. . Potential Mechanism for the Catalase-dependent Inhibition of Tumor Growth. 9th Annual Meeting of the Oxygen Society. 2002.
  54. Connor, K.M., Rodriguez, A.M., Bennett, J.A., Melendez, J.A. . Inhibition of Tumor Growth by the expression of Mitochondrial Catalase: The Role of Hydrogen Peroxide in Regulating Caspase Activation. 8th Annual Meeting of The Oxygen Society. 2001.
  55. Morgan D, Diamond DM, Gottschall PE, Ugen KE, Dickey C, Hardy J, Duff K, Jantzen P, DiCarlo G, Wilcock D, Connor K, Hatcher J, Hope C, Gordon M, Arendash GW. A beta peptide vaccination prevents memory loss in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease. Nature. 2000 Dec 21-28; 408(6815):982-5. PMID: 11140686.
    View in: PubMed
  56. Miller J, Connor K. Going to the dogs ... for help. Nursing. 2000 Nov; 30(11):65-7. PMID: 11111661.
    View in: PubMed
  57. Connor K, Miller J. Help from our animal friends. Nurs Manage. 2000 Jul; 31(7):42-6. PMID: 15127507.
    View in: PubMed
  58. Connor K, Miller J. Animal-assisted therapy: an in-depth look. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2000 May-Jun; 19(3):20-6. PMID: 11998003.
    View in: PubMed
  59. Harper N, Connor K, Steinberg M, Safe S. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for antibodies to TNP-LPS detects alterations in serum immunoglobulins and isotype switching in C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and related compounds. Toxicology. 1994 Sep 06; 92(1-3):155-67. PMID: 7940557.
    View in: PubMed
  60. Cheng YC, Grill S, Derse D, Chen JY, Caradonna SJ, Connor K. Mode of action of phosphonoformate as an anti-herpes simplex virus agent. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 Jan 29; 652(1):90-8. PMID: 6260189.
    View in: PubMed
Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile: HMS/HSDM faculty should contact For faculty or fellow appointment updates and changes, please ask your appointing department to contact HMS. For fellow personal and demographic information, contact HMS Human Resources at For faculty personal and demographic information, contact HMS Office for Faculty Affairs at
Connor's Networks
Click the
buttons for more information and interactive visualizations!
Concepts (279)
Co-Authors (27)
Similar People (60)
Same Department 
Physical Neighbors
Tool Page Footer - Harvard Catalyst Tool Page Footer – Harvard Catalyst
Funded by the NIH/NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, grant number UL1TR001102, and through institutional support from Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.