CIE Seminar Series 2016 – Ancestry of adaptations to day and night vision

David HuntSPEAKER: Professor David Hunt, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, Lions Eye Institute and School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth

DATE: Friday, 17th June 2016
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, room ka4.207
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – Burwood Corporate Centre (attendees to please report to reception) and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22

ABSTRACT: The talk is based on the analysis of eye/retina transcriptomes obtained by NGS from a number of basal fish species from the agnathan and gnathostome lineages.

The data will be used to explore the evolutionary origin of rod and cone isoforms of the different components of the phototransduction cascade that extends from visual pigments to gated-channels and calcium regulation, with insights into individual species differences.

BIO: Professor David Hunt graduated with a BSc Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 1964 and stayed on to complete a PhD in Genetics in 1967, working with the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Shortly after that, he moved the focus of his work to mouse genetics, working for many years at Queen Mary College in London, UK. However, it was not until the late 80s that he moved into vision research, which led to a move in 1992 to the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London. His final move in 2010 was to the School of Animal Biology at The University of Western Australia, relocating earlier this year to the Lions Eye Institute.

His research in vision has two inter-related themes, comparative studies of vertebrate vision and inherited retinal diseases. The comparative studies include work on many different species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, the latter extending to monotremes and marsupials.

His work on inherited retinal diseases has resulted in the identification of several disease genes and mutations, and an understanding of their pathology. He has over 240 full publications that include two books.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Ben Knott.

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