Associate ProfessorCase Western Reserve University
2123 Adelbert Rd.,, Cleveland
Photoreceptors are the neurons responsible for the first step of our vision. These highly specialized neurons form specific subcellular compartments called outer segments. Photoreceptors are categorized into two types: cones and rods, and they work in photopic and scotopic vision, respectively. Our lab is interested in how these highly specialized neurons are formed and maintained, and how the major component of the outer segment, rhodopsin, can contribute to the morphogenesis of the photoreceptor outer segments. Toward the goal of understanding the process of outer segment morphogenesis, we developed a new method to visualize protein trafficking and membrane morphogenesis using transgenic Xenopus laevis models. This new method has been instrumental in the studies of novel trafficking pathways in photoreceptor neurons.