报告题目：The Power of Small Molecules to Explain How We See and How We Think
报告人：Nasri Nesnas professor， Florida Institute of Technology
Vision is inarguably the most dependable of the five senses. The retina contains light sensing protein receptors (rhodopsins) that incorporate a small polyene molecule derivative of vitamin A, known as 11-cis-retinal. Major clues on understanding the visual cycle have been established through the design of variations of the vitamin A light absorbing molecule, some of which will be presented. A detailed understanding of the inner workings of rhodopsin is not only critical from the stand point of solving mysteries of visual diseases, like Age-related Macular Degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), but also serves as a well established model for elucidating the mechanism of other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Furthermore, we show that the value of light absorbing molecules expands beyond vision and can be used to trigger neurons thereby aiding the delineation of complex neural networks.