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Jonathan Demb, PhD

Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

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Jonathan Demb, PhD



Jonathan Demb is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science with secondary appointments in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology and the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Demb obtained his doctoral degree from Stanford University and did postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. Demb was a faculty member at the University of Michigan before moving to Yale in 2011.

The Demb lab investigates the cellular and synaptic mechanisms that enable visual processing by the mammalian retina. Major accomplishments include identifying fundamental nonlinearities at retinal synapses that mediate specialized spatial processing by retinal ganglion cells; elucidating the role of disinhibition in visual contrast processing; characterizing asymmetries between the retina's ON and OFF pathways; determining roles of NMDA-type glutamate receptors in ganglion cell receptive fields; identifying characteristic properties of cone-mediated vision in the mouse retina; developing the use of a glutamate sensor (iGluSnFR) for study of retinal circuitry; identifying novel amacrine cell circuits using optogenetic technology; and testing experimental therapies in mouse models of retinal disease. Demb is a Reviewing Editor at the Journal of Neuroscience and is on the Editorial Board of PLoS Biology. He was awarded the Cogan Award in 2013 from the Associate for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) to recognize his contributions to the field of retinal neuroscience.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Researcher
    University of Pennsylvania (2003)
  • PhD
    Stanford University (1997)
  • BA
    Boston University (1993)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Cogan AwardAssociation for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)2013
Orthwein Yale Scholar AwardYale University2011
FellowAlfred P. Sloan Foundation2004
Career Development AwardResearch to Prevent Blindness2004

Professional Service

Board of Scientific Counselors, National Eye InstituteCouncil Member2020 - Present
PLoS BiologyEditorial Board2017 - Present
Journal of NeuroscienceReviewing Editor2016 - Present
NIHStudy sections, ad hoc2010 - Present
Journal of NeuroscienceAssociate Editor2008 - 2013

Departments & Organizations