The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
725 North Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: 905A PreClinical Teaching Building
Telephone: (410) 955-1260
Fax: (410) 955-1948
Dr. Yau and his laboratory study visual and olfactory sensory transduction, which have interesting similarities but also striking differences. Visual transduction in retinal photoreceptors (the rods and cones) is known to involve a cGMP signaling pathway. Recording from single, dissociated photoreceptors isolated from genetically modified mice and frogs is one assay they use to address specific questions about the details of phototransduction. Unlike vision, which involves only a few visual pigments in rods and cones, olfaction apparently involves of the order of a thousand distinct odorant receptor proteins. A key, still largely unknown question about olfactory transduction is how a given odorant receptor protein recognizes a specific set of chemicals (odorants). They are addressing this question by stimulating cloned odorant receptor proteins various odorants, using calcium imaging as an assay.