Debora B. Farber, Ph.D., D.Ph.h.c.


Distinguished Professor, Ophthalmology
Karl Kirchgessner Chair, Ophthalmology
Member, Jules Stein Eye Institute
Brain Research Institute
Molecular Biology Institute

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: 310-206-6800 310-206-7375
Laboratory Address: LaboratoryJSEILos Angeles, CA 90095UNITED STATES Office Address: OfficeDSERCLos Angeles, CA 90095UNITED STATES


Debora B. Farber is a biochemist and molecular biologist who has been a faculty member of the UCLA School of Medicine since she joined the Department of Ophthalmology in 1977. She became a full professor in 1984, a Karl Kirchgessner Endowed Chair in 2001 and a Distinguished Professor in 2007. She has been Associate Director for Research of the Brain Research Institute (1992 -1994) and Associate Director of the Jules Stein Eye Institute as well as Co-Chief of its Vision Science Division (1994 – 2004). Dr. Farber earned her M.S. in Chemistry and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department, University of California at Santa Barbara, where she studied the cyclic nucleotide regulation of different processes. She started working on the retina and diseases affecting it when she joined UCLA, and soon thereafter she received a National Eye Institute Research Career Development Award. In addition to her continued support from NIH, Dr. Farber also was granted an NIH MERIT Award. She received the highest honorary degree, Doctor Honoris Causa, from the University of Göteborg, Sweden, the Proctor Medal from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the "Marraine 2005" honorary title from L'Association Degenerescence Maculaire Liee a l'Age, France. She also was the recipient of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine Distinguished Lecturer Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Neurosciences, the Alcon Research Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vision Research, The Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award, the Paul Kayser International Award of Merit in Retina Research, two Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigators Awards and the Visionary Award from The Vision of Children Foundation. UCLA granted Dr. Farber the Woman of Science Award, the Franklin D. Murphy, M.D. Prize from the UCLA School of Medicine and the David Geffen School of Medicine MAA Medical Science Award. She is an Editorial Board member of several journals and has given Plenary lectures at national and international meetings. She also was elected Trustee and Vice-President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.


Farber Debora B, Katsman Diana   Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Microvesicles: Could They be Used for Retinal Regeneration? Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 2016; 854: 563-9.
Young Alejandra, Wang Ying, Ahmedli Novruz B, Jiang Meisheng, Farber Debora B   A constitutively active Gαi3 protein corrects the abnormal retinal pigment epithelium phenotype of Oa1-/- mice PloS one, 2013; 8(9): e76240.
Ahmedli Novruz B, Gribanova Yekaterina, Njoku Collins C, Naidu Akash, Young Alejandra, Mendoza Emmanuel, Yamashita Clyde K, Ozgül Riza Köksal, Johnson Jerry E, Fox Donald A, Farber Debora B   Dynamics of the rhomboid-like protein RHBDD2 expression in mouse retina and involvement of its human ortholog in retinitis pigmentosa The Journal of biological chemistry, 2013; 288(14): 9742-54.
Katsman Diana, Stackpole Emma J, Domin Daniel R, Farber Debora B   Embryonic stem cell-derived microvesicles induce gene expression changes in Müller cells of the retina PloS one, 2012; 7(11): e50417.
Mokhonov Vladislav V, Theendakara Veena P, Gribanova Yekaterina E, Ahmedli Novruz B, Farber Debora B   Sequence-specific binding of recombinant Zbed4 to DNA: insights into Zbed4 participation in gene transcription and its association with other proteins PloS one, 2012; 7(5): e35317.
Kitamura Eiko, Gribanova Yekaterina E, Farber Debora B   Regulation of retinoschisin secretion in Weri-Rb1 cells by the F-actin and microtubule cytoskeleton PloS one, 2011; 6(6): e20707.
Young Alejandra, Jiang Meisheng, Wang Ying, Ahmedli Novruz B, Ramirez John, Reese Benjamin E, Birnbaumer Lutz, Farber Debora B   Specific interaction of Gαi3 with the Oa1 G-protein coupled receptor controls the size and density of melanosomes in retinal pigment epithelium PloS one, 2011; 6(9): e24376.
Saghizadeh Mehrnoosh, Gribanova Yekaterina, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Farber Debora B   ZBED4, a cone and Müller cell protein in human retina, has a different cellular expression in mouse Molecular vision, 2011; 17(5): 2011-8.
Farber Debora B, Theendakara V P, Akhmedov N B, Saghizadeh M   ZBED4, A Novel Retinal Protein Expressed in Cones and Mller Cells Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 2010; 664: 79-87.
Saghizadeh Mehrnoosh, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Yamashita Clyde K, Gribanova Yekaterina, Theendakara Veena, Mendoza Emmanuel, Nelson Stanley F, Ljubimov Alexander V, Farber Debora B   ZBED4, a BED-type zinc-finger protein in the cones of the human retina Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2009; 50(8): 3580-8.
Verardo Mark R, Viczian Andrea, Piri Natik, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Knox Barry E, Farber Debora B   Regulatory sequences in the 3' untranslated region of the human cGMP-phosphodiesterase beta-subunit gene Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2009; 50(6): 2591-8.
Parry David A, Toomes Carmel, Bida Lina, Danciger Michael, Towns Katherine V, McKibbin Martin, Jacobson Samuel G, Logan Clare V, Ali Manir, Bond Jacquelyn, Chance Rebecca, Swendeman Steven, Daniele Lauren L, Springell Kelly, Adams Matthew, Johnson Colin A, Booth Adam P, Jafri Hussain, Rashid Yasmin, Banin Eyal, Strom Tim M, Farber Debora B, Sharon Dror, Blobel Carl P, Pugh Edward N, Pierce Eric A, Inglehearn Chris F   Loss of the metalloprotease ADAM9 leads to cone-rod dystrophy in humans and retinal degeneration in mice American journal of human genetics, 2009; 84(5): 683-91.
Yuan Alex, Farber Erica L, Rapoport Ana Lia, Tejada Desiree, Deniskin Roman, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Farber Debora B   Transfer of microRNAs by embryonic stem cell microvesicles PloS one, 2009; 4(3): e4722.
Souied Eric H, Reid Silvia N M, Piri Natik I, Lerner Leonid E, Nusinowitz Steven, Farber Debora B   Non-invasive gene transfer by iontophoresis for therapy of an inherited retinal degeneration Experimental eye research, 2008; 87(3): 168-75.
Saghizadeh Mehrnoosh, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Farber Debora B   Identification and characterization of genes expressed in cone photoreceptors Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 2008; 613(7): 235-44.
Young Alejandra, Powelson Elisabeth B, Whitney Irene E, Raven Mary A, Nusinowitz Steven, Jiang Meisheng, Birnbaumer Lutz, Reese Benjamin E, Farber Debora B   Involvement of OA1, an intracellular GPCR, and G alpha i3, its binding protein, in melanosomal biogenesis and optic pathway formation Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2008; 49(7): 3245-52.
Jacobson Samuel G, Sumaroka Alexander, Aleman Tomas S, Cideciyan Artur V, Danciger Michael, Farber Debora B   Evidence for retinal remodelling in retinitis pigmentosa caused by PDE6B mutation The British journal of ophthalmology, 2007; 91(5): 699-701.
Yellore Vivek S, Papp Jeanette C, Sobel Eric, Khan M Ali, Rayner Sylvia A, Farber Debora B, Aldave Anthony J   Replication and refinement of linkage of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy to the posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy 1 locus on chromosome 20 Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, 2007; 9(4): 228-34.
Tsang Stephen H, Woodruff Michael L, Jun Lin, Mahajan Vinit, Yamashita Clyde K, Pedersen Robert, Lin Chyuan-Sheng, Goff Stephen P, Rosenberg Thomas, Larsen Michael, Farber Debora B, Nusinowitz Steven   Transgenic mice carrying the H258N mutation in the gene encoding the beta-subunit of phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6B) provide a model for human congenital stationary night blindness Human mutation, 2007; 28(3): 243-54.
Gao Y-Q, Danciger D, Ozgul RK, Jacobson SF and Farber DB   Association of Asn306Ser variants in the genes for the SP4 transcription factor and the beta-subunitof transducin with digenic disease, Molecular Vision, 2007; (13): 287-92.
Linberg Kenneth A, Fariss Robert N, Heckenlively John R, Farber Debora B, Fisher Steven K   Morphological characterization of the retinal degeneration in three strains of mice carrying the rd-3 mutation Visual neuroscience, 2006; 22(6): 721-34.
Piri Natik, Mendoza Emmanuel, Shih Jennifer, Yamashita Clyde K, Akhmedov Novrouz B, Farber Debora B   Translational regulation of the rod photoreceptor cGMP-phosphodiesterase: the role of the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions Experimental eye research, 2006; 83(4): 841-8.
Lerner LE. Piri N. Farber DB   Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the rod cGMP- phosphodiesterase beta-subunit gene, Adv Exp Med Biol, 2006; (572): 328-29.
Piri N, Mendoza E , Shih J, Yamashita, CK, Akhmedov NB, and Farber DB   Translational regulation of the Rod Photoreceptor cGMP-Phosphodiesterase: the role of the 5???- and 3???-Untranslated Regions, Exp Eye Res, 2006; 83: 841-848.
Kitamura E, Danciger M, Yamashita C, Rao NP, Nusinowitz S, Chang B, Farber DB   Disruption of the gene encoding the beta1-subunit of transducin in the Rd4/+ mouse, Ophthalmol Vis Sci. , 2006; 47(4): 1293-1301.
Tsang SH, Woodruff ML, Chen CK, Yamashita CY, Farber DB, Fain GL   GAP-Independent Termination of Photoreceptor Light Response by Excess Gamma Subunit of the cGMP-Phosphodiesterase, J Neurosci, 2006; 26(17): 4472-4480.
Linberg K, Fariss R, Heckenlively J, Farber DB, and Fisher, S   Morphological Characterization of the Retinal Degeneration in Three Strains of Mice Carrying the rd3 Mutation, Visual Neuroscience, 2005; 22(6): 721-734.
Acosta Monica L, Fletcher Erica L, Azizoglu Serap, Foster Lisa E, Farber Debora B, Kalloniatis Michael   Early markers of retinal degeneration in rd/rd mice Molecular vision, 2005; 11(6): 717-28.
Piriev NI, Gao Y, Danciger M, Mendoza E, Fishman GA, and Farber DB   A substitution of G to C in the cone cGMP-phosphodiesterase gamma subunit, Ophthalmology, 2005; 112(1): 159-166.
Lerner, LE Peng, GH Gribanova, YE Chen, S Farber, DB   Sp4 is expressed in retinal neurons, activates transcription of photoreceptor-specific genes, and synergizes with Crx The Journal of biological chemistry. , 2005; 280(21): 20642-50.
Akhmedov, NB Yamashita, CK Tran, D Piri, NI Aguirre, GD Farber, DB   Two forms of the large tumor suppressor gene (Lats1) protein expressed in the vertebrate retina Biochimica et biophysica acta. , 2005; 1728(1-2): 11-7.
Reid, SN Farber, DB   Glial transcytosis of a photoreceptor-secreted signaling protein, retinoschisin Glia. , 2005; 49(3): 397-406.
Piri Natik, Gao Yong Qing, Danciger Michael, Mendoza Emmanuel, Fishman Gerald A, Farber Debora B   A substitution of G to C in the cone cGMP-phosphodiesterase gamma subunit gene found in a distinctive form of cone dystrophy Ophthalmology, 2005; 112(1): 159-66.
Viczian AS, Verardo M, Zuber ME, Knox, BE and Farber DB   Conserved cone photoreceptor transcriptional regulation in vertebrates, FEBS Letters, 2004; 577(1-2): 259-264.
Ozgul RK, Durukan H, Turan A, Oner C, Ogus A, Farber DB   Molecular Analysis of the ABCA4 gene in Turkish patients with Stargardt disease and retinitis pigmentosa, Human Mutat, 2004; 23(5): 523.
Piri, N Yamashita, CK Shih, J Akhmedov, NB Farber, DB   Differential expression of rod photoreceptor cGMP-phosphodiesterase alpha and beta subunits: mRNA and protein levels The Journal of biological chemistry. , 2003; 278(39): 36999-7005.
Reid, SN Yamashita, C Farber, DB   Retinoschisin, a photoreceptor-secreted protein, and its interaction with bipolar and muller cells The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. , 2003; 23(14): 6030-40.
Nusinowitz S, Nguyen L, Radu R, Kashani Z, Farber D and Danciger M   Electroretinographic evidence for altered phototransduction gain and slowed recovery from photobleaches in albino mice with a MET450 variant in RPE65, Exp Eye Res, 2003; 77(5): 627-38.
Saghizadeh M, Brown, DJ, Tajbakhsh J, Chen Z, Kenney MC, Farber DB and Nelson SF   Evaluation of techniques using amplified nucleic acid probes for gene expression profiling, Biomol Eng, 2003; 20(3): 97-106.
Farber DB and Tsang SH   Stationary night-blindness or progressive retinal degeneration in mice carrying different alleles of PDEgamma, Front Biosci, 2003; 8: S666-675.
Farber Debora B, Tsang Stephen H   Stationary night blindness or progressive retinal degeneration in mice carrying different alleles of PDE gamma Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library, 2003; 8(1): s666-75.
Piriev, NI Yamashita, CK Shih, J Farber, DB   Expression of cone photoreceptor cGMP-phosphodiesterase alpha' subunit in Chinese hamster ovary, 293 human embryonic kidney, and Y79 retinoblastoma cells Molecular vision [electronic resource]. , 2003; 9: 80-6.
Saghizadeh Mehrnoosh, Brown Donald J, Tajbakhsh Jian, Chen Zugen, Kenney M Cristina, Farber Debora B, Nelson Stanley F   Evaluation of techniques using amplified nucleic acid probes for gene expression profiling Biomolecular engineering, 2003; 20(3): 97-106.
Akhmedov NB, Baldwin V, Minoofar KD, Zanger B, Kijas JW, Hunter L, Mellerssh C, Ostrander E, Acland G, Farber DB, Aguirre GD   Cloning and characterization of the canine photoreceptor-specific cone-rod homeobox gene (CRX) and evaluation as a candidate for early onset photoreceptor disease in the dog, Mol Vis, 2002; 8: 79-84.
Liu Q, Zhou J, Daiger SP, Farber DB, Heckenlively JR, Smith JE, Sullivan LS, Zuo J, Milam AH, Pierce EA   The RP1 protein is located in the connecting cilia of human and mouse photoreptors, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Res, 2002; 43: 22-33.
Lerner LE, Gribanova YE, Whitaker L, Knox BE, Farber DB   The rod cGMP-phosphodiesterase beta-subunit promoter is a specific target for Sp4 and is not activated by other Sp proteins or CRX, J Biol Chem, 2002; 277: 25877-25883.
Gao, J Cheon, K Nusinowitz, S Liu, Q Bei, D Atkins, K Azimi, A Daiger, SP Farber, DB Heckenlively, JR Pierce, EA Sullivan, LS Zuo, J   Progressive photoreceptor degeneration, outer segment dysplasia, and rhodopsin mislocalization in mice with targeted disruption of the retinitis pigmentosa-1 (Rp1) gene Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. , 2002; 99(8): 5698-703.
Tsang, SH Yamashita, CK Lee, WH Lin, CS Goff, SP Gouras, P Farber, DB   The positive role of the carboxyl terminus of the gamma subunit of retinal cGMP-phosphodiesterase in maintaining phosphodiesterase activity in vivo Vision research. , 2002; 42(4): 439-45.
Liu, Q Zhou, J Daiger, SP Farber, DB Heckenlively, JR Smith, JE Sullivan, LS Zuo, J Milam, AH Pierce, EA   Identification and subcellular localization of the RP1 protein in human and mouse photoreceptors Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. , 2002; 43(1): 22-32.
Danciger, M Hendrickson, J Lyon, J Toomes, C McHale, JC Fishman, GA Inglehearn, CF Jacobson, SG Farber, DB   CORD9 a new locus for arCRD: mapping to 8p11, estimation of frequency, evaluation of a candidate gene Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. , 2001; 42(11): 2458-65.
Lerner, LE Gribanova, YE Ji, M Knox, BE Farber, DB   Nrl and Sp nuclear proteins mediate transcription of rod-specific cGMP-phosphodiesterase beta-subunit gene: involvement of multiple response elements The Journal of biological chemistry. , 2001; 276(37): 34999-5007.
Tsang SH, Yamashita CK, Doi K, Salchow DJ, Bouvier ME, Mendelsohn M, Gouras P, Farber DB, Goff SP   in vivo studies of the gamma subunit of the retinal cGMP phosphodiesterase with a substitution at tyrosine-84, Biochemical J, 2001; 353: 467-474.