Teresa Puthussery is an Assistant Professor in the School of Optometry at UC Berkeley. Her lab is interested in how visual signals are encoded and transmitted by neurons in the healthy retina and how signaling is perturbed during the course of retinal degeneration. Ongoing projects in their lab are addressing the following questions:
- How do retinal neurons extract specific features such as motion and spatial detail from the visual environment?
- How do different types of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels shape the response properties of retinal neurons?
- How do mutations in the molecular machinery of cone-photoreceptors lead to retinal degeneration?
- How does the structure and function of the retina change in diseases such as glaucoma and inherited photoreceptor degeneration?
To address these questions, they use a variety of research techniques including patch-clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, immunohistochemistry, high-resolution imaging (confocal, super-resolution, electron and two-photon microscopy) and protein biochemistry.