Our primary research interest is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying phototransduction and adaptation - the conversion of light into a neural signal, and subsequent recovery, in retinal rod and cone photoreceptors and in bipolar cells.
Much is already known about the 'activation' steps, whereby light initiates a response, and interest has recently turned to the complex mechanisms that enable the response to shut-off rapidly and that permit the photoreceptor and subsequent neurons to adapt to a wide range of intensities.
Experimental approaches. We are using several complementary approaches:
- Suction pipette recordings from single photoreceptor cells isolated from the retina (using normal and transgenic animals);
- Electroretinogram (ERG) recordings from the eyes of human subjects;
- Mathematical modelling of the molecular steps known to be involved.