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Dao Qi Zhang named newest member the CBR

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Dao Qi Zhang named newest member the CBR
Assistant Professor Dao-Qi Zhang, of the Eye Research Institute, is the newest member of the Center for Biomedical Research. Zhang's research focuses on the regulation of dopamine release in the vertebrate retina. Retinal dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter and modulates retinal circuits, synchronizing the retinal clock, and influencing eye growth. As a result, dopamine deficiency in diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, and Parkinson’s disease leads to visual defects. However, the mechanisms of regulating dopamine release are not well understood. The broad objective of Zhang’s laboratory is to determine how retinal dopaminergic neuron activity is regulated by environmental light and the biological circadian clock, and how it is altered by retinal degeneration. His laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach that includes molecular, pharmacological, biochemical, optical imaging, and electrophysiological techniques.

Zhang received his PhD in neurobiology from the Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997. He completed his post-doctoral training within the Department of Physiology at University of Kentucky. Before he joined the Eye Research Institute in 2010, he served as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University.

Zhang's research is supported by a grant from Midwest Eye-banks.