Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Nathans, Jeremy
Location Johns Hopkins University
Primary Field Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
 Election Citation
Nathans' brilliant elucidation of the molecular basis of normal and abnormal human color vision and its regulation are major discoveries in the molecular biology of vision. His demonstration that a common variant of the red visual pigment has altered spectral properties explains difference in "normal" red color perception.
 Research Interests
The research interests of my laboratory center on the following questions: How are the patterns of cell identity and connectivity in the mammalian visual system determined at a molecular level? How is the final performance of the system affected by individual molecules and molecular events? How do differences in visual performance and visual image processing between species and between members of the same species -- in particular our own -- arise? What are the pathologic mechanisms responsible for blinding diseases and how can an understanding of these mechanisms be applied to therapeutic intervention? Our general approach has been to use the techniques of molecular genetics to identify and study the proteins involved in these processes. Our earlier work focused on the visual pigments -- the light-absorbing proteins that initiate vision. More recently we have begun to study transcriptional control and cell-cell communication in the developing visual system.

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