From Photon to Electricity
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My research at UIC focuses on the visual system of vertebrates, skate and catfish in particular. My goal is to gain a better understanding of how the retina processes visual information, which starts as a photon of light and is ultimately converted into an electrical signal passed down retinal neurons and then out to the brain for further processing and image formation. I investigate the functions of membrane channels and transporters, and how those functions are being modulated by various neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. The image I have provided is a scanning electron micrograph of photoreceptors, which are the cells in the retina that mark the beginning of the trip the visual information has to take in order to be translated into a meaningful and colorful image.