Bowman lab begins new vision projects

The Bowman lab is beginning a new effort to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying vision and the origins of inherited forms of blindness.  As a starting point, we’ve launched some new projects to understand the dynamics of rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is the protein responsible for detecting light in the eye and triggering a signaling cascade that ultimately results in an electrical stimulus that we perceive as an image. Rhodopsin functions by undergoing a conformational change in response to light. Importantly, mutations to rhodopsin can prevent it from having the desired dynamics, resulting in blindness. These projects will allow us to study the dynamics of rhodopsin, set a baseline for understanding the negative effects of such mutations, and potentially yield insight into therapeutic strategies for restoring or preventing vision loss.