Z. Jimmy Zhou, M.Sc., Ph.D., newly designated as the Marvin L. Sears Professor of Visual Science, studies the physiology and development of the mammalian retina under normal and pathological conditions, as well as the organization and function of retinal synapses and circuits.

Research in his laboratory is focused on the cellular and network mechanisms underlying the generation of spontaneous rhythmic activities (retinal waves) in the developing retina and the functional role of such activities in the development of neuronal circuits in the visual system. His team also explores the mechanisms of visual signal processing in the mature retina, particularly the physiology of the neuronal circuits responsible for detecting image movement and movement direction.

Zhou earned his B.S. at Fudan University in China and his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Houston. After postdoctoral studies at the University of California–Los Angeles, Zhou joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas. He came to Yale in 2008. He is vice chair and director of research in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and is affiliated with the Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Physiology.