Now showing items 1-20 of 1086

    • Trainee Therapist Personality, Technique Usage, and Helpfulness

      Sandlin, Samantha H.; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      The goal of the present study was to explore how trainee therapists’ differential technique usage and perceived helpfulness ratings of the techniques used in therapy relate to their personality characteristics. The NEO-FFI-3 was administered to 59 clinical and counseling graduate students prior to training to assess their self-reported personality traits. Then, during their first therapy course, trainees conducted four therapy sessions with a volunteer client. Trainees watched the videotape of their third session and rated the techniques they perceived themselves to have used and their view of how helpful those interventions were. Results showed a significant, negative relationship between trainee conscientiousness and their use of interventions aimed at helping clients identify contradictions in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Moreover, significant associations were found between two personality traits and trainees’ perceived helpfulness ratings of their technique usage. Specifically, as trainees’ neuroticism increased, their perception of how helpful they were in helping their client gain a new perspective decreased. Conversely, as their extroversion increased, they perceived themselves to have been more helpful in assisting clients in gaining a new perspective. Notably, all statistically significant findings had a moderate effect size. Our findings provide preliminary conclusions about the relation between trainee personality characteristics and differential technique usage in sessions, as well as how helpful trainees perceived those techniques to be.

      Graham, Caroline; Hull College of Business (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Prior research conducted by organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown that many people claim they feel secure with their knowledge of financial planning and management. However, as witnessed during the government shutdown, feelings are not the same as actions. If that was the case, then many people would have been able to cover their expenses despite missing a few paychecks. Moreover, whenever a financial literacy quiz has been provided to the public, history has shown that “less than ten percent of the respondents pass” (Martin, 2017) showing that financial literacy levels are low. Over the years, many people have gained more knowledge on saving strategies, budgeting, and the benefits of investing. In their report, the Federal Reserve found that, “when asked about their finances, 75 percent of adults say they are either doing okay or living comfortably. This result in 2018 is similar to 2017 and is 12 percentage points higher than 2013.” (The Federal Reserve, 2019, p. 1). However, the number of individuals still living paycheck to paycheck while drowning in debt is alarmingly high. A blogger from Equifax found that “56% of Americans don’t have any money left over at the end of the month after paying their bills” (Financial Literacy Survey: Do You Save for a Rainy Day?, 2019). This is caused by poor financial planning, living beyond one’s means or taking on too much debt, and sometimes, a combination of all three. This study will add to research by emphasizing the importance of financial literacy by evaluating the financial health of survey respondents and their knowledge of common concepts of finance. These concepts include interest, investments, and inflation. The respondents were recruited via Facebook and personal contact, such as family and classmates. The data collected will be used to examine how financial literacy varies across socioeconomic demographics. Lastly, the study will provide recommendations on ways financial education programs can improve to reach a larger audience and educate the public. These recommendations will be based on the survey responses on how people would like to receive financial education in the future.
    • Investigating the Functions of Tinagl1 in Embryonic Development

      Zwinklis, Brooklyn; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      This research project was designed to explore the functions of Tubulointerstitial Nephritis Antigen-Like protein 1 (Tinagl1) in embryonic development. Prior work using morpholino knockdowns in zebrafish suggested that downregulating the tinagl1 gene has profound effects on development, resulting in defects including small eyes, body axis curvature, renal cysts, missing craniofacial cartilages, and reversed heart looping. Several of these defects could result from observed shortening and reduction in the number of motile cilia. However, morpholino knockdown techniques have fallen out of favor in zebrafish research and have been replaced by gene editing methods, such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), to completely remove gene function throughout the embryo permanently. This project seeks to further test the function of tinagl1 on development through two independent and current approaches. The first approach will seek to validate or refute the prior morpholino results by knocking out tinagl1 via a 4-guide CRISPR method as it is described by Wu et al. The second approach will examine if overexpression of an engineered tinagl1 mutant mRNA can result in a dominant-negative effect that causes all the previously mentioned defects with the addition of asymmetrical craniofacial defects. These approaches will help establish Zebrafish animal models for studying functional requirements for Tinagl1 and its interactions with signaling pathways.
    • Ray Abundance and Diversity in the Satilla River

      Silliman, Brennan; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Over the past 100 years, the Satilla River has been cut several times for logging and navigational purposes. The most notable cut is Noyes Cut, located adjacent to Umbrella and Dover Creeks. Due to changes in local economic pursuits, Noyes Cut is not used except by a few local fishermen and has potentially altered water flow and salinity gradients. Ultimately, this affects habitats of animals, such as rays. The Satilla River is home to 52 different kinds of species of saltwater and freshwater fish. These include sunfish, sharks, catfish, seatrout, and tarpon (Kenakrow, 2020). Rays are found worldwide and are the most diverse of cartilaginous fish; they play a vital role in determining the health of an ecosystem by influencing/controlling where certain fish, mollusk, and crustacean populations are. Rays can indicate if an ecosystem is in distress. Four locations in the Satilla River were sampled using experimental gill nets, otter trawls, and a multi-parameter water quality probe from July 2014 through September 2019. All rays were identified by species with total length and disc width recorded to the nearest centimeter (cm). At least 3 species of rays (possibly more), which include the Atlantic Stingray, the Smooth Butterfly Ray, and the Southern Stingray, call this area home. Additionally, this five year data set will be compared to a creel survey currently being conducted on the Satilla River. We hope to make comparisons between our 2018-2019 sampling year and the 2019-2020 creel survey. Since rays are an indicator species, it may be possible to determine if they’ve been affected by Noyes Cut. Noyes Cut was originally constructed around 1910 as a way for Edward Noyes to float logs to his lumber mill business. He used this waterway until 1933 when the U.S. Army Corps seized it and deepened the cut as an inland waterway. Over several decades, channel sedimentation has gradually affected salinity gradients which ultimately altered the natural water circulation patterns within the estuary.
    • Mechanism of Retinal Neovascularization in OIR: Role of ACAT-1

      Santana, Isabella Noel; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      According to the National Eye Institute, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is the leading cause of vision loss in childhood. About 400–600 infants each year in the US become legally blind from ROP (NIH, 2019). ROP primarily affects premature infants weighing less than 2.75 pounds who are born before thirty-one weeks of gestation (NIH, 2019). Today, with the advances being made in neonatal intensive care, smaller premature infants are being saved. Because these infants are at a much higher risk for ROP, it has become increasingly important to understand ROP. ROP affects the blood vessels in the retina, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye and is responsible for receiving light and converting it into neural signals. Loss of vision occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina and into the vitreous, developing neovascular tufts, causing hemorrhage. Retinal detachment is the main cause of visual impairment and blindness in ROP (NIH, 2019). The primary current treatments are laser therapy and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), but these therapies have shown negative side effects and complications associated with them being invasive procedures such as intraocular swelling, retinal detachment and infectious endophthalmitis (Dowler, 2003). The mechanism behind retinopathy of prematurity is unclear, however; macrophage proliferation has been found to have a critical role in the development of retinal neovascularization by secreting growth factors and inflammatory cytokines such as VEGF, Interleukin 6 (IL-6), Monocyte colony stimulating factor (MCSF) and trigger receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM-1) (Zhou, et al. 2017). The manner in which macrophages are activated for this process is also unknown, however; lipid metabolism is vital for maintaining macrophage homeostasis and function. Lipid loading in macrophages increases intracellular cholesterol esters (CEs), which induce an inflammatory phenotype. Acyl coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase-1 (ACAT-1) is an enzyme localized in macrophage endoplasmic reticulum that is responsible for cholesterol esterification with fatty acids and the formation of CEs. Our preliminary results in wild-type (WT) mice pups treated with intraperitoneal injections (I.P.) of ACAT-1 inhibitor in a model of oxygen-induced retinopathy show significant decrease of retinal neovascularization, avascular area and expression of TREM-1, M-CSF and VEGF. We hypothesize that ACAT-1 activityderived high cholesterol levels in macrophages during hypoxia induce retinal neovascularization.
    • Attitudes About Differential Treatment of Crack and Cocaine in Terms of Legality

      Pollard, Elinita M.; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Attitudes concerning addiction influence how an individual feels about a plethora of issues related to substance abuse. Broadus and Evans (2015) developed an instrument to measure an individual’s attitude toward addiction called the Public Attitudes About Addictions Survey (PAAAS). Their research suggested that an individual’s perception of drug addiction aligns with one of the following models of addiction: the psychological model, sociological model, disease model, nature model, or moral model. Broadus and Evans argue one’s attitude may influence how an individual feels about receiving addiction counseling, drug-related judicial decisions, and formation of drug policy (2015). This study is concerned with whether one’s attitude toward addiction and one’s knowledge about cocaine are related to opinions about sentencing for drug crimes and particularly different sentencing for crack and cocaine offenses.
    • The Impact of Exercise Intensity and Fatigue on Subjective Time Perception

      Olson, Maddie; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      The ability to estimate time accurately is important during exercise and athletic performance. Time estimation is necessary for being able to recall time spent exercising, or a soccer player determining how much time they have before a defender begins to apply pressure. Each rely on one’s ability to judge objective time without the variability that is present in day-to-day life. Time perception is also important for exercise prescription. When prescribing exercise, the trainer must pick an intensity level that will not cause the client to feel like time is dragging on. If the client is focused on how long the workout seems to be lasting, they are more likely to be noncompliant. Cognitive workload, physical exertion and emotional strain all influence the ability to estimate time duration, and it appears with higher workloads there is a greater amount of estimation error. However, there is limited research on time perception across the full range of exercise intensity levels (from rest to maximal effort). The main objective of this study is to determine the point at which exercise intensity affects accuracy of time perception. The secondary objective is to describe the effect of exercise fatigue on time perception accuracy.
    • Human Sex Trafficking in the Augusta Judicial Circuit

      Morel, Nicole; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      The purpose of this thesis is to focus on proactive measures to combat human sex trafficking (HST) in the greater Augusta Judicial Circuit which consists of, Burke, Columbia, and Richmond Counties. Since ancient times, slavery, kidnapping, coercing, and forcing individuals to perform sexual acts for monetary profit has been a major threat to human rights across the world (Kiener, 2012). Although police have become better equipped to handle this crime, it remains one of the most difficult crimes to successfully tackle. This is especially true as previous literature suggest a relationship between an increase in HST crimes during big sporting events (Hayes, 2010; Bowersox, 2016). Studies like these are important because this type of crime is both prevalent and domestic. In the United States alone, 7,859 cases were recorded for sex trafficking in 2018 (NHTH, 2019). While there has been a significant increase in the attention to HST through new policies, education systems, and training, it is evident that more needs to happen. The goal of this thesis is to understand existing approaches to address HST in the Augusta Circuit and address any unique factors in the area, such as the Masters Tournament.
    • Does chronic ketone salt supplementation alter blood pressure, complete blood count, or comprehensive metabolic panel results in adults diagnosed with PTSD?

      Locklin, Jordan; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is associated with high levels of stress, that can be linked to elevated resting blood pressure and heart rates in those who have it. Ketone bodies are chemicals that the body utilizes as fuel when glucose is not readily available, and have been shown to improve metabolic diseases, as well as decrease systolic blood pressure in healthy populations. The purpose of this study was to determine if chronic ketone salt supplementation alters blood pressure (BP), complete blood count (CBC), or comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) results in adults diagnosed with PTSD. The hypothesis was that 6-weeks of chronic KS consumption will not have any negative effects on the CMP and CBC health markers, and potentially have positive effects on BP in the PTSD population. Participants included males and females between the ages of 21-65 years of age, all of whom had been previously diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study was randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled. The findings of the study showed that there were no significant interactions, positive or negative, between 6-weeks of chronic KS supplementation and BP, CBC, and CMP in adults with PTSD.
    • Music Composition Using Romantic and Contemporary Techniques

      Kenison, Caitlin; Department of Music (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Suite for Piano is a four-movement solo piano suite, influenced and composed utilizing Romantic and contemporary compositional techniques. This paper, and the accompanying score, are the culmination of over a year’s worth of creative labor and growth through my work in the Honor’s Thesis sequence. In this paper, I will be detailing the technical contents of each movement before proceeding to describe the creative process behind each work. Each movement began with the idea of an image I wanted to convey to the listener—and while that image may not have remained constant, those images still influenced how the piece turned out in the long run. Alongside that, I often found myself turning to social media, or other genres outside of what is typically considered “classical” music, for inspiration as I continued to hit creative roadblocks in my work. For those reasons, I decided to more clearly detail the process behind each movement and describe how I arrived at the work I did.
    • Implementing the Healthy University Approach to Mental Health at Augusta University

      Jackson, Lauren; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      In recent times, there has been an increase in self-reported mental health issues in college students (1). This increase is not due to the fact that there are more students with mental health issues, but because there is an increased societal awareness and a lesser stigma in receiving help for these issues (1). In response to the increase of students with self-reported mental health issues, many institutions of higher education are taking steps to meet the demand by re-evaluating existing student wellness clinics and initiatives (1). The Healthy Universities System was created to improve the overall physical and mental wellness of college students, with the purpose of providing university systems with guidelines that will promote health and well-being on their campuses. A Healthy University is an institution that has “a holistic understanding of health; takes a Whole University approach; and aspires to create a learning environment and organizational culture that enhances the health, well-being, and sustainability of its community” (2). The system is currently operated and funded by the University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University, and co-chaired by Mark Dooris and Sue Powell who are faculty at the respective institutions. Although the Healthy University system focuses on developing student health policy at universities in the United Kingdom, the resources used to design a Healthy University are readily available on the system’s website and can be implemented at any institution of higher education. There are several approaches to implementing Healthy University initiatives: Whole System, Health and Sustainable Development, Health and Well-being, Mental Well-being, Student Experience and Performance, and Staff Experience and Performance (3). This study will focus on the Healthy University mental well-being approach and mental health awareness as it relates to the undergraduate student population at Augusta University. The mental well-being approach emphasizes the importance of university awareness regarding the “impact of stigma, social inclusion, and access issues associated with mental wellbeing, and to be proactive in addressing them” (4). It also asks universities to evaluate the mental health support services provided to students and staff, and to conduct qualitative or quantitative research on those services to ensure their efficacy, and to improve overall well-being (4). Case studies that detail a university’s approach to becoming a Healthy University provides a baseline of how initiatives to support student health through programming can be implemented on college campuses around the world. Studies done on the Healthy University approach show that as a result of programming, “students are more likely to value and prioritize health and well-being” (5).
    • Scythe & Halo Cab Company: A Creative Activity in Podcasting

      Burgin, Madeline; Department of Communications (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Trigger Warning: This thesis discusses suicide. 2020 was the hardest year of my life, for many different reasons. I know that I am not alone in that statement. This year has been laden with turmoil, crises, tragedies, and most of all: death. In this time, many artists are at work documenting this period, the topics that have arisen, and the emotions involved. My honors thesis aims to do the same. Over this past year, I have plotted a whole season of a fictional podcast about Ripley Abbott, a grim reaper, written the script for episode one, written treatments for episodes 22-6, held auditions, cast the characters, and fully produced and edited the first episode. The ultimate goal of this podcast is to act as a social commentary about the shared human experience. One truth that binds all humanity together is the fact that everyone will die. By exploring the afterlife, I am exploring universal themes such as: justice, fate, death, life, fear, and uncertainty. From worldbuilding to plot to character development, the podcast will explore interconnection of humanity through life and death.
    • Establishing a GFP Marker in Zebrafish to Study the Localization of Tinagl1

      Blackburn, Helena; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Tinagl1 is a secreted protein found in the basement membrane under epithelial cells. The LeMosy lab previously showed that tinagl1 knockdowns resulted in abnormal spinal development and heart orientation during zebrafish development. These data, together with changes in length of motile cilia, suggested that tinagl1 is involved in cilia function during development. The mechanism of this interaction is unknown, and it is unclear whether tinagl1 is only in basement membranes at the basal side of cells, or if it also localizes to the apical side of cells where most cilia project. A deeper understanding of the localization of tinagl1 during development is a logical next step in understanding how this protein functions. Zebrafish provide an excellent model for studying this localization as they display strong phenotypic effects that can be easily imaged. The localization of tinagl1 will be tracked using a tinagl1-GFP fusion construct developed through PCR and insertion into a Tol2 transposon vector. This construct will be injected into early embryos together with transposase mRNA to create mosaic fish showing tinagl1-GFP in selected tissues. Successful germline integration of the tinagl1-GFP DNA will lead to the development of a transgenic line of zebrafish allowing imaging of tinagl1 localization during development.
    • Blinding Crystals: Monosodium Urate Crystals and Diabetic Retinopathy

      Amanamba, Udochukwu; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common complication of diabetes and the main cause of blindness among adults of working age. Previous studies have established that high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) promote chronic sub-clinical inflammation which in turn causes retinal tissue injury and development of DR. It has also been shown that increased levels of uric acid, a by-product of the purine metabolism, generates crystals of monosodium urate (MSU) which could contribute to retinal inflammation and to the development of DR. My honors thesis project focused on investigating the molecular basis of inflammation in diabetic retinopathy (DR), specifically how MSU stimulates sterile inflammation in retinal blood vessels cells and in other retinal cells through the induction of the NLRP3-inflammasome. Human retinal endothelial (HuREC) and Human retinal epithelial cells (HuRPE) were treated with clinically relevant doses of MSU (6mg/dL) or high glucose (HG 25mM) or a combination of both. The expression of NLRP3 inflammasome constituents such as IL-1, NLRP3 protein, Toll-like receptor (TLR4), Gasdermin D (GSDMD) and Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) were monitored using Western blotting analysis and ELISA assay. Morphometric analysis and ANOVA statistical approaches were employed to analyze the data. The results obtained showed that HuREC are more responsive to MSU alone than HuRPE. However, in all conditions, MSU significantly potentiated the production of inflammatory constituents of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Overall, the results of my studies support MSU as a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of DR. This suggests that uricemia should be monitored in diabetic patients and hypouricemic drugs could be helpful in combating DR and vision loss in diabetic patients.
    • Does a Negative Emotional State Decrease Plasticity Related Gene Expression in the Hippocampus?

      Bonilla, Joselyn Amadiz; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
    • EWL Insights February 2021

      Wynn, Alice; Department of English and World Languages (Augusta University, 2021-02-15)
      Table of Contents: A Conversation with Kiese Layman and Jesmyn Ward (New Mississippi Project and The African American Read-In), Faculty Spotlight (Guirdex Masse), Upcoming events (EWL Scholarship Workshop, SWCA-GA Spring Forum, Speaking Shakespeare, National Poetry Month Virtual Open Mic, Engendering Emergencies: Gender Polities in Times of Crisis and, Sand Hills Magazine), 5 Questions with EWL's Danielle Wardell, Faculty and Student News, EWL Scholarships and Awards 2021 Deadlines
    • EWL Insights: November 2020

      Williams, Seretha; Department of English and World Languages (Augusta University, 2020-11-20)
      Table of Contents: Upcoming Events (An Evening with Michele Harper and Making Fiction Writing Sustainable), Current Students (Madison Brown, Mary lu Kuhl Scholarship), Alumni Highlights, Faculty Spotlight (Christina Heckman)

      Rashid, Mohammad Harun; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Augusta University, 2019-07)
      Exosomes are critical mediators of intercellular crosstalk and regulators of the cellular/tumor microenvironment. Exosomes have great prospects for clinical application as a theranostic and prognostic probe. Nevertheless, the advancement of exosome research has been thwarted by our limited knowledge of the most efficient isolation method and the in vivo trafficking. Here we have shown that a combination of two size-based methods using a 0.20 μm syringe filter and 100k centrifuge membrane filter followed by ultracentrifugation yields a greater number of uniform exosomes compared to other available methods. We demonstrated the visual representation and quantification of the differential in vivo distribution of radioisotope 131I-labeled exosomes from diverse cellular origins, e.g., tumor cells with or without treatments, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and endothelial progenitor cells. We also determined that the distribution was dependent on the exosomal protein/cytokine contents. Further, we also generated engineered exosomes expressing precision peptide for targeting CD206 positive M2-macrophages. M2-macrophages participate in immune suppression, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, invasion, angiogenesis, tumor progression and subsequent metastasis foci formation. Given their pro-tumorigenic function and prevalence in most malignant tumors with lower survival, early in vivo detection and intervention of M2-macrophages may boost the clinical outcome. To determine in vivo distribution of M2-macrophages, we adopted 111In-oxine based radiolabeling of the targeted exosomes and SPECT. When injected these radiolabeled targeted exosomes into 4T1 breast tumor-bearing mice, exosomes accumulated at the periphery of the primary tumor, metastatic foci in the lungs, in the spleen, and liver. Ex vivo quantification of radioactivity also showed similar distribution. Injected DiI dye-labeled exosomes into the same mice showed the adherence of exosomes to the CD206 positive macrophages on ex vivo fluorescent microscopy imaging, confirming the targeting efficacy of the exosomes. In addition, we utilized these engineered exosomes to carry the Fc portion of mouse IgG2b with the intention of augmenting antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. We have auspiciously demonstrated that M2-macrophage targeting therapeutic exosomes deplete M2-macrophages both in vitro and in vivo, and reduce tumor burden in a metastatic breast cancer model. The applied in vivo imaging modalities can be utilized to monitor disease progression, metastasis, and exosome-based targeted therapy.
    • Development and Characterization of a Closed-Head Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Model

      Alverson, Katelyn; Clinical Laboratory Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide and places an enormous economic burden on both families and health care systems that provide support for survivors. The majority of TBI cases are deemed mild (mTBI) and go undetected due to the less discernable signs and symptoms. However, there is increasing evidence that mTBI can lead to detrimental chronic consequences. Unfortunately, the mTBI research field is still in its infancy. We set out to develop a model of closed-head mTBI that recapitulated mTBI in the clinic. Using a murine controlled cortical impact model, we show no structural damage, increased edema, behavioral deficits, cell death and decreased synapses in the acute time after the mTBI. We also evaluated the chronic behavioral changes from two weeks to three months post TBI. All in all, our mTBI model showed significant cellular changes, but did not give robust chronic behavioral results. A secondary outcome of our study was the evaluation of a potential therapeutic: remote ischemic conditioning (RIC). Acutely, RIC improved edema, behavioral outcomes, cell death, and synapse loss. Overall, our study does identify key areas that should be recapitulated in further development of the model: no structural damage, little to no edema, cell death and decreased synapses, and behavioral changes. This model also requires further investigation into the chronic consequences of mTBI as well as the use of RIC.

      Abdelrahman, Ammar; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Augusta University, 2020-12)
      Currently, treatments of diabetic retinopathy (DR) have limited therapeutic benefits and limited accessibility to the growing diabetic population at risk because of the high expenses and complicated procedures. Inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and microvascular damage are common features of diabetic complications including DR. GPR109A is the metabolite sensing receptor of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) the principal ketone body in humans. Our previous studies have shown the role of GPR109A expression in promoting anti-inflammatory response in retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells and the relevance of the receptor in DR. Expression of the GPR109A in microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) has been reported recently. However, the relevance of GPR109A expression and activation to retinal EC functions are yet to be studied. Our goal in this study was to identify the role of GPR109A expression and activation in barrier and angiogenic functions of retinal ECs in context of diabetic retinopathy. We used electrical cell impedance sensing (ECIS) technology to evaluate barrier functions in primary human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) which constitute the inner BRB. Knocking down GPR109A in HRECs with siRNA decreased the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) compared to scrambled siRNA. Treating HRECs with BHB increased their TEER and counteracted VEGF-induced barrier disruption through activation of GPR109A and increasing zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) expression. Treatment of STZ-diabetic mice with exogenous BHB for one month protected against the pathologic albumin leakage induced by diabetes and improved the visual acuity of this animal model of diabetes. Using the mouse model of oxygen induced retinopathy (OIR), we showed that Gpr109a-/- mice had slower vascular recovery from pathologic angiogenesis compared to age matched wild type mice. Moreover, physiologic revascularization of vaso-oblitrated retinas was impaired by loss of GPR109a and associated with dysregulated inflammatory and angiogenic signaling. Collectively, these data point to a role for GPR109A in the regulation of barrier and angiogenic mechanisms in retinal ECs and, promote the receptor as a potential druggable target for impacting these mechanisms in microvascular retinal diseases such as DR.