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Joshua Sanes, PhD
Wiring Up the Retina
Paul J. Finnegan Family Director, Harvard Center for Brain Science, Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Member, NAS Institute of Medicine
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
In the retina, visual information is passed from photoreceptors to interneurons to retinal ganglion cells and then on to the rest of the brain. Each of the approximately 30 types of ganglion cells responds to a specific visual feature, depending on which of the approximately 70 types of interneurons synapse on it. Dr. Sanes’s laboratory has sought molecules that account for this specificity. Candidates include members of the immunoglobulin superfamilies. Dr. Sanes will describe a combined genetic, morphological, and physiological approach for analyzing their roles.
About the Speaker:
Joshua Sanes, PhD, is the Paul J. Finnegan Family Director of the Harvard Center for Brain Science and the Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His laboratory is interested in how neural circuits are assembled in young animals and how they process information in adults. A particular focus is the identification and analysis of synaptic recognition molecules responsible for the amazing specificity of connections that underlies complex neural processing. The laboratory uses a combination of genetic, molecular, histological, and electrophysiological approaches to address these issues.
Dr. Sanes earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard University. Following postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined the faculty of Washington University, where he served on the faculty for more than 20 years and held an endowed chair of neurobiology. He returned to Harvard University in 2004 as a professor of molecular and cellular biology and founding director of the Center for Brain Science.