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Vision Research

Friday, October 19 at 12:00 PM
Des Moines University, Student Education Center (SEC) 115, Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map

The topic for this week’s Friday Research Seminar Series will be biochemistry. All faculty members and students are invited to attend.

Hosted by the Biochemistry Department.

Visualizing Proteins in the Visual System

Sheila Baker

Sheila Baker, Ph.D.

Assistant professor of Biochemistry and Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa


  1. Explain why intracellular protein trafficking is necessary for healthy photoreceptor cells and thereby vision.
  2. Analyze data obtained from protein expression studies in animal models.

Photoreceptors are responsible for detecting light and they have a highly specialized anatomy that supports this function. My research interest is to uncover the mechanisms that regulate the proper trafficking of proteins to the different compartments of the photoreceptor cell. This is the topic that I have focused on throughout my scientific training. During my PhD training at the Medical College of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Joe Besharse I studied the role of IFT in photoreceptors. IFT is a large complex of adaptor and motor proteins that are necessary for the development and maintenance of photoreceptors. I continued my training in a post-doctoral position with Vadim Arshavsky at Duke University where I investigated the trafficking of signaling proteins in photoreceptors. Now in my independent lab at the University of Iowa, I am continuing to probe the mechanism of protein trafficking in photoreceptors by focusing on the trafficking of channels and receptors to the photoreceptor synapse.

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