Research from the lab of Berkeley Optometry and Vision Science professor Teresa Puthussery is featured in the April edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.
Background: The rods and cones in the eye convert light into electrical signals that are propagated through the retina to the brain. Dr. Puthussery and co-authors Jacqueline Gayet-Primo, Daniel B. Yaeger, and Roupen A. Khanjian, discovered a special type of ion channel that is important for generating normal electrical responses in human rods and cones. The work helps explain why patients with genetic mutations in certain ion channels develop a blinding cone-rod dystrophy and may ultimately lead to new treatments for these diseases.
About the Puthussery Lab
The Puthussery Lab is interested in how visual signals are encoded and transmitted by neurons in the healthy retina and how signaling is perturbed during the course of retinal degeneration. Ongoing projects in the lab are addressing the following questions:
- How do retinal neurons extract specific features such as motion and spatial detail from the visual environment?
- How do different types of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels shape the response properties of retinal neurons?
- How do mutations in the molecular machinery of cone-photoreceptors lead to retinal degeneration?
- How does the structure and function of the inner retinal circuitry change in response to photoreceptor degeneration?