Postdoctoral Research Associate Vinberg Lab University of Utah 2017 - Current

Project focused on determining the effects of retinal degenerations on the function of retinal neurons

  • Drove high-risk project using postmortem human donor retinas to study function of the human retina (paper in press). Actively refined research protocols, donor criteria and analyses as preliminary data came in.

  • Establishing new techniques and analysis pipelines in the lab, including multielectrode array recordings of retinal ganglion cells in healthy and degenerating mouse retina, mouse retinal slice electrophysiology.

  • Supervising trainees (two undergraduate students and one PhD student)

  • Collaborating with scientists at different institutions including clinician-collaborator at Scripps Institute (San Diego) and scientific collaborators at the Salk Institute, and University of Eastern Finland.

Postdoctoral Associate Hoffman Lab Yale University 2016- 2017

Characterizing neuronal circuit defects in larval zebrafish with mutations in high confidence Autism Spectrum Disorder genes:

  • Designing, generating, and testing In situ hybridization probes in zebrafish

  • Immunohistochemistry

  • High throughput larval zebrafish behavioral screening

  • Molecular biology including RNA isolation, and qPCR.


PhD in Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London 2016

MSc Neuroscience in Developmental Neurobiology (Distinction), King’s College London 2010

BSc Biomedical Sciences (Hons) (2:1) Queen Mary, University of London 2009


  • Communication: Scientific writing, peer reviewed publication, public speaking, internal collaboration, communicating results at conferences, scientific communication to public (all ages via ScienceGrrl organization in United Kingdom), preparing and writing grants (NIH and private foundation), co-organized and managed a zoom postdoctoral research seminar series during the pandemic lockdown (Next Gen Neuroscience), extensive presentation experience at large professional meetings such as Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Society for Neuroscience annual meetings.

  • Laboratory: Extensive model organism experience including zebrafish, mouse, and human donor tissues. Ophthalmology techniques including ex vivo electroretinogram recordings, multielectrode array recording, retinal slice preparation. Data analyses using MATLAB, GraphPad, OriginPro, actively learning Python.

Scientific Presentations:

Invited Talks:

What the (postmortem) eye tells the researcher” Philadelphia Symposium for Postdoctoral Initiatives in Neuroscience Excellence (2021), “Restoration of Light-evoked Electrical Signals in the Postmortem Mouse and Human Retina” ARVO Annual meeting (2020), “Analysis of effects of post-mortem delay on human and mouse retinal function” ARVO Annual meeting (2019).


Retinal Degeneration meeting (2021), FASEB Biology and Chemistry of Vision (2019, Outstanding Poster Presentation award), Society for Neuroscience (2015), HHMI Signal Transforms in the Early Visual System (2014).

Professional Memberships:

Society for Neuroscience, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, Society for Arab Neuroscientists (Secretary as of 2022)


1. Abbas F, Becker S, Jones BW, Mure LS, Panda S, Hanneken A, Vinberg F, Revival of light signaling in the postmortem mouse and human retina, Accepted at Nature, awaiting editorial proofs.

2. Bisbach, C.M., Hutto, R.A., Poria, D., Cleghorn, W.M., Abbas, F., Vinberg, F., Kefalov, V.J., Hurley, J.B., Brockerhoff, S.E. (2020) Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU) deficiency reveals an alternate path for Ca2+ uptake in photoreceptor mitochondria. Sci Rep 10, 16041.

3. Hutto, R.A., Bisbach, C.M., Abbas, F., Brock, D.C., Cleghorn, W.M., Parker, E.D., Bauer, B.H., Ge, W., Vinberg, F., Hurley, J.B., Brockerhoff, S.E. (2019). Increasing Ca2+ in photoreceptor mitochondria alters metabolites, accelerates photoresponse recovery, and reveals adaptations to mitochondrial stress. Cell Death Differ.

4. Abbas, F., Triplett, M. A., Goodhill, G. J., & Meyer, M. P. (2017). A Three-Layer Network Model of Direction Selective Circuits in the Optic Tectum. Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 11, 88.

5. Antinucci, P., Abbas, F. & Hunter, P. R. Orientation Selectivity in the Retina: ON Cell Types and Mechanisms. J. Neurosci. 36, 8064–6 (2016).

6. Abbas, F. & Meyer, M. P. Fish Vision: Size Selectivity in the Zebrafish Retinotectal Pathway. Curr. Biol. 24, R1048–R1050 (2014).

6. Nikolaou, N., Lowe, A. S., Walker, A. S., Abbas, F., Hunter, P. R., Thompson, I. D., & Meyer, M. P. (2012). Parametric functional maps of visual inputs to the tectum. Neuron, 76(2), 317–24. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.040