Knowledge of normal eye development is crucial for the development of retinal rescue strategies. I shall focus on two signalling pathways that affect retinal development. Fibroblast growth factors function in retinal cell proliferation, retinal ganglion cell axon guidance and target recognition, craniofacial patterning and lens induction. Hedgehog proteins are required for progression of the neurogenic wave, cell proliferation, photoreceptor differentiation, retinal ganglion cell axon growth and craniofacial patterning. These signalling pathways have pleiotropic effects, can interact and have the potential to be used therapeutically. The zebrafish model organism may be well suited to studying how signalling pathways interact.