Dr. Thoreson’s lab combines state-of-the-art electrophysiological and imaging techniques to study the physiology of retinal neurons in vision. His recent studies focus on the role of calcium channels and glutamate release in transmitting visual messages from rod and cone photoreceptor cells. These studies provide insights into both normal vision and retinal disease. Restoring vision by therapeutic means requires an understanding of the steps that take place during normal vision. Furthermore, damage to proteins involved in neurotransmission from photoreceptors can cause rods and cones to degenerate. Over-stimulation of calcium channels and glutamate receptors at the photoreceptor synapse can also promote neurodegeneration in a number of other eye diseases including glaucoma, stroke, and ischemia. In addition to these studies on fundamental retinal processes, we collaborate with Dr. Eyal Margalit in studies on the physiological mechanisms by which implantation into the retina of prosthetic electronic devices can produce visual perception in previously blind individuals. The aim of this research is to refine implant design and improve visual perception in treated patients.
B.A., Carleton College, Northfield, MN
M.S., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
To search for publications by this doctor, visit the National Library of Medicine website.