The First Steps in Vision


Program Description:

How does the retina in the back of our eyes convert light into nerve impulses that ultimately result in vision? How can our eyes discriminate colors? Can our eyes really see single photons of light? This presentation will introduce you to the cells, the visual receptors, and the biochemical sequence of steps that represent the first steps in the visual signaling pathway.


Rick Cote

Rick H. Cote received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently Professor of Biochemistry and Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. His NIH-funded research program investigates the signaling pathways in the retina that are responsible for the first steps in vision. Defects in the photoreceptor phosphodiesterase enzyme, the central enzyme in the biochemical pathway that converts a light stimulus into an electrical response in rod and cone photoreceptor cells, can result in retinitis pigmentosa, congenital stationary night blindness, and other retinal diseases.

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