Z. Jimmy Zhou PhD
Marvin L. Sears Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and of Neurobiology; Vice Chairman and Director of Research, Ophthalmology and Visual Science
physiology and development of the mammalian retina under normal and pathological conditions; organization and function of retinal synapses and circuits; mechanisms of retinal diseases
My laboratory is interested in understanding the physiology, functional circuitry, and development of the mammalian retina under normal and pathological conditions. Our current research focuses on (1) mechanisms of visual signal processing in the retina, with an emphasis on neuronal interactions and neural circuits underlying direction selectivity and other forms of visual computation, (2) mechanisms of synaptic transmission and dual neurotransmitter co-transmission between identified retinal neurons, (3) cellular and network mechanisms underlying spontaneous rhythmic activity in the developing retina (retinal waves) and activity-dependent visual system development, (4) mechanisms of retinal diseases and restoration of visual function in animal models. The experimental techniques used in our lab include single and dual patch-clamp recording together with optogenetics and laser spot photolysis in the wholemount mammalian retina, two-photon imaging of synaptic and dendritic activities using synthetic and genetically encoded calcium and neurotransmitter sensors, gene transfection (in vivo electroporation and viral transfection), multielectrode array recording, and computational modeling.