Dept.: Professor, Department of Biochemistry; Assoc. Investigator, HHMI
Neuroscience Focus Groups:
Rod and cone cells of the vertebrate retina respond to light by hyperpolarizing and reducing the rate at which they secrete neurotransmitter. The initial excitation phase of vertebrate phototransduction in rods and cones occurs when light stimulates hydrolysis of the intracellular second messenger, cGMP. Rods and cones respond to a decrease in illumination by a process called recovery and in response to constant illumination they adapt. Dr. Hurley and his colleagues are investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for photoexcitation, recovery and adaptation.