Tuesday 30 January 2018, 4.00PM to 5.00pm
Speaker(s): Professor Russell Foster - University of Oxford
Until recently it seemed inconceivable to most vision researchers and ophthalmologists that there could be an unrecognised class of photoreceptor within the mammalian eye. After all, the eye was the best understood part of the central nervous system: one hundred and fifty years of research had explained how we see! However, by studying how circadian rhythms and sleep are regulated by the dawn/dusk cycle we showed that there exists a “3rd class” of photoreceptor based upon a small number of photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) that utilise the blue light sensitive photopigment melanopsin. The research that led to this discovery, the clinical implications of this work, and recent findings on how the pRGCs interact with the molecular systems that generate circadian rhythms and sleep will be explored in this presentation.