Cell Biology - all faculty and staff

Jody Summers, Ph.D.

Jody Summers, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell Biology


Ph.D., Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine, Grand Forks, North Dakota
B.S., Cytotechnology, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Contact Information:

Office Phone: (405) 271-8001 ext. 46478
Fax Number: (405) 271-3548

Email: Jody-Summers@ouhsc.edu

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center
975 10th Ave NE, Room 266
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0901


Research Interests:


Myopia (“nearsightedness”) is a significant global public health concern. The incidence of myopia is reaching epidemic proportions, as have the serious ocular complications associated with high myopia. It is wellestablished that postnatal eye growth is controlled via a cascade of locally generated chemical events that are initiated in the retina and ultimately cause changes in scleral extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling to effect changes in eye size and refraction. Therefore our long-term goal is to identify the effector molecules that mediate scleral remodeling as they may facilitate the design of therapies to slow or prevent the progression of myopia. Data is accumulating to suggest that all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) is an important molecular signal for the control of postnatal ocular growth. We have recently demonstrated that in response to visual stimuli, ocular atRA synthesis is regulated exclusively via choroidal expression of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2). Furthermore, we have compelling evidence to suggest that apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1) functions as a specific extracellular atRA-binding protein in the choroid and participates in a regulatory feedback mechanism with atRA for the regulation of atRA transport and activity on ocular targets. Therefore, the objective of our current research is to define the key events that regulate choroidal atRA synthesis, transport and activity in scleral remodeling during visually guided ocular growth.



Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Fellow (FARVO)
Sigma Xi, University of North Dakota Chapter
The American Society for Cell Biology

Selected Publications:


Harper, A.R., Le, A., Mather, T., Berry, W., Burgett, A., and Summers J.A. (2018) Design, Synthesis, and Ex Vivo Evaluation of a Selective Inhibitor for Retinaldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH1A) Enzymes. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 26:5766-5779. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2018.10.009


Xi, L.Y., Yip, S.P., Shan, S.W., Summers-Rada, J., Kee, C.S.(2017) Region-specific differential corneal and scleral mRNA expressions of MMP2, TIMP2,  and TGFB2 in highly myopic-astigmatic chicks. Sci Rep. 7:11423. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08765-6.


Summers, J.A., Harper, A.R., Van-Der-Wel, H., Hermann, M.,  and West, C.M.(2016) Identification of apolipoprotein a-1 as a retinoic acid binding protein in the eye. J. Biol Chem., 291:18991-9005. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.725523. PMID: 27402828


Harper, A.R., Wang, X.,  Moiseyev, G.,  Ma, J.-X., Summers, J. A. (2016) Postnatal Chick Choroids Exhibit Increased Retinaldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity during Recovery from Form Deprivation Induced Myopia.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis.Sci. 57:4886–4897.


Harper, A.R., Wiechmann, A.F., Moiseyev, G., Ma, J.-X., Summers, J.A. (2015) Identification of Active Retinaldehyde Dehydrogenase Isoforms in the Postnatal Human Eye. PLOS One, 10(3):e0122008.


Summers Rada JA, Hollaway LR, Lam W , Li N, and Napoli J (2012) Identification of RALDH2 as a visually regulated retinoic acid synthesizing enzyme in the chick choroid Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis.Sci. 53(3):1649-62.


Summers Rada JA, Hollaway LR. (2011) Regulation of the biphasic decline in scleral proteoglycan synthesis during the recovery from induced myopia. Exp Eye Res. Feb 24. 92(5):394-400. 


Summers Rada JA, Wiechmann AF, Hollaway L, Baggenstoss B, Weigel PH (2010) Visual reguation of HAS2 and hyaluronan by chick choroid. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 51:6172-6179.


Wiechmann AF, Hollaway LR, Rada JA (2009) Melatonin receptor expression in Xenopus laevis surface corneal epithelium: diurnal rhythm of lateral membrane localization. Mol Vis. 2009 15:2384-2403.


Shelton L and Summers Rada J.  (2009) TGFBIp inhibits the attachment of human scleral fibroblasts to collagen type I . IOVS


Rada JA and Wiechmann AF (2009) Ocular expression of avian thymic hormone: changes during the recovery from induced myopia. Mol Vis. 15:778-92. Epub 2009 Apr 17.


Shelton, L., Troilo, D., Brackett, D.J., Lerner, M., Gusev, Y., and Summers Rada, J.A. (2008)  Microarray analysis of choroid/RPE gene expression in marmoset eyes undergoing changes in ocular growth and refraction. Mol Vis. 14:1465-1479.


Summers Rada, J.A. and Palmer, L. (2007) Choroidal regulation of scleral proteoglycan synthesis during the recovery from induced myopia.   Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 48:2957-2966. 


Shelton, L.  and Summers Rada, J.A. (2006) Effect of cyclic mechanical stretch on extracellular matrix synthesis by human scleral fibroblasts. Exp. Eye Res., 84:314-322.


Johnson J.M., Young, T. L. and Summers Rada, J. A. (2006) Small Leucine Rich Repeat Proteoglycans (SLRPs) in the Human Sclera: Identification of Abundant Levels of PRELP. Mol. Vision. 12:1057-1066. http://www.molvis.org/molvis/v12/a119/


Summers Rada, J.A. and Wiechmann, A.F. (2006) Melatonin receptors in chick ocular tissues: Implications for a role of melatonin in ocular growth regulation.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47:25-33.


Troilo, D.T., Nickla, D.L., Mertz, J.R. and Summers Rada, J.A. (2006) Retinoic acid and scleral proteoglycan synthesis during experimentally altered eye growth in marmosets. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47:1768-1777.


Young, T.L., Scavello, G.S., Palura, P., Guo, X.D., Choi J., Rappaport, E., and Rada, J.A. (2004) Microarray analysis of gene expression in human donor sclera.  Mol . Vision. 10:163-176.


Dunlevy, J.R. and Summers Rada, J.A. (2004) Interaction of lumican with aggrecan in the aging human sclera. Invest. Ophthalmol Vis. Sci. 45:3849-3856.


Wiechmann, A.F., Udin, S.B. and Summers Rada, J.A. (2004) Localization of Mel1b melatonin receptor-like immunoreactivity in ocular tissues of Xenopus laevis. Exp. Eye Res. 79: 585-594.


Young, T. L., Guo, X.L., King, R.A, Johnson, J.M. and Rada, J.A.  (2003)  Identification of genes expressed in a human scleral cDNA library. Mol. Vision. 9:508-514.


Wiechmann   A. F., Rada J.A. (2003) Melatonin Receptor Expression in the Cornea and Sclera.  Exp. Eye Res. 77:227-237.


Rada, J.A., Johnson, J.M., Achen, V.R. and Rada, K.G. (2002) Inhibition of scleral proteoglycan synthesis blocks deprivation-induced axial elongation in chicks. Exp. Eye Res.  74:205-215.


Austin, B.A, Coulon, C., Liu, C.Y., Kao, W.W.-Y., and Rada, J.A. (2002) Altered collagen fibril formation in the sclera of lumican deficient mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 43:1695-1701.


Rada, J.A., Huang, Y. and Rada, K.G. (2001) Identification of choroidal ovotransferrin   as a potential ocular growth regulator.  Current Eye Res. 22:121-132.


Rada, J.A., Achen, V.R., Penagonda, S. and Mount, B.A. (2000) Proteoglycan composition in the human sclera during growth and aging. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis.  Sci. 41:1639-1648.


Rada, J.A., Nickla, D.L. And Troilo,  D. (2000) Decreased proteoglycan synthesis associated with form deprivation myopia in mature primate eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis.  Sci.  41:2050-2058.


Austin, B.A., Roughley, P.J. and Rada, J.A. (2000) Alternative forms of lumican core protein are present in the human sclera. Proceedings of the VIII International Conference on Myopia. pp 205 - 210.


Nickla, D.L., Rada, J.A. and Wallman, J. (1999) Isolated chick sclera shows a circadian rhythm in proteoglycan synthesis perhaps associated with the rhythm in ocular elongation. J. Comp. Physiol. A. 185:81-90.


Rada, J.A., Perry, C.A., Slover, M.L. and Achen, V.R. (1999) Gelatinase A and TIMP-2 expression in the fibrous sclera of myopic, recovering and control chick eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis.  Sci. 40:3091-3099.


Rada, J.A., Achen, V.R. and Rada, K.G.  (1998) Proteoglycan turnover in the sclera of normal and experimentally myopic chick eyes.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 39:1990-2002.


Rada, J.A., Achen, V.R., Perry, C.A. and Fox, P.W. (1997) Proteoglycans in the human sclera: evidence for the presence of aggrecan.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.  38:1740-1751. 


Rada, J.A., Fini, E. and Hassell, J.R. (1996)  Regionalized growth patterns of young chicken corneas.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 37:2060-2067.


Rada, J.A. and Brenza, H.L. (1995)  Increased latent gelatinase activity in the sclera of visually deprived chicks.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 36:1555-1565.


Rada, J.A. and Matthews, A.L. (1994) Visual deprivation upregulates extracellular matrix synthesis by chick slceral chondrocytes.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35:2436-2447.


Norton, T.T. and Rada, J.A. (1994) Reduced extracellular matrix accumulation in mammalian sclera with induced myopia.  Vision Res. 35:1271-1281.


Rada, J.A., Matthews, A.L. and Brenza, H. (1994)  Regional proteoglycan synthesis in the sclera of experimentally myopic chicks.  Exp. Eye Res. 59:747-760.


Rada, J.A., Cornuet, P.K. and Hassell, J.R. (1993) Regulation of corneal collagen fibrillogenesis in vitro by corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycan (lumican) and decorin core proteins.  Exp. Eye Res. 56:635-648.


Rada, J.A., McFarland, A.L., Cornuet, P.K. and Hassell, J.R. (1992)  Proteoglycan synthesis by scleral chondrocytes is modulated by a vision dependent mechanism.  Curr. Eye Res. 11:767-782.


Rada, J.A. and Carlson, E.C. (1991)  Electron microscopic histochemical and immunochemical analyses of heparan sulfate proteoglycan distribution in renal glomerular basement membranes. Histol. Histopathol. 6:149-160.


Rada, J.A. and Carlson, E.C. (1991)  Anionic site and immunogold quantitation of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in puromysin aminonucleoside nephrotic rats.  Anat. Rec. 23:35-47.


Rada, J.A., Thoft, R.A. and Hassell, J.R. (1991)  Increased aggrecan production in the sclera of myopic chicks.  Develop. Biol. 147:303-312.



Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: 





Profile Last Updated: July 23, 2019