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Maureen Neitz and the new perspectives of color vision genetics

Grant number: 14/18322-7
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: November 23, 2014 - November 25, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal Investigator:Dora Selma Fix Ventura
Grantee:Dora Selma Fix Ventura
Visiting researcher: Maureen Neitz
Visiting researcher institution: University of Washington, United States
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/58731-2 - Vision as a sensitive indicator of conditions threatening retinal and central nervous system function, AP.TEM


Professors Maureen Neitz and Jay Neitz, from the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, have extensive experience in the study of the mechanisms of color vision, working in genetics, electrophysiology and retinal morphology. Since 2008, our laboratory has been working in partnership with them, initiated with the one-year training of the doctoral student Daniela Maria Oliveira Bonci, now a professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Psychology. With Daniela Bonci’s return and the approval of the Project FAPESP (09/06026-6), it was possible to structure the first laboratory for genetic analysis of visual pigments in Brazil, which allowed us to continue the study of genetics of color vision in different vertebrate species and also to initiate studies of different genetic alterations that lead to visual dysfunctions. The partnership held between the two laboratories has brought significant results in the area, with projects of masters and doctorate and publishing of scientific papers in important journals. The contacts between the two laboratories and exchange of information about projects and the results has been maintained during international meetings such as the Annual Congress of ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology), during visits by the professors to our laboratory and during internships and trainings conducted by our students in their laboratory. This project aims to maintain the interaction and strengthen the partnership between the two laboratories, which has already resulted in two PhD theses (one in conclusion stage), the improvement of molecular biology techniques, the presentation of several papers at national and international conferences and the publication of four papers in national and international journals (Soares et al, 2010; Genead et al, 2011; Bunce et al, 2011; Bonci et al, 2013). This visit will again solidify this interaction and assist in the conclusion of projects and the publication of two articles already in development. It will also bring important contribution to the discussion and planning of new projects to be started in 2015, about the expression of melanopsins genes in retinas and extraocular tissues of different vertebrate species. Both professors will teach the course "New perspectives on the genetics of color vision in humans" and will have the opportunity to disseminate their latest publications on the genetics of color vision and use of gene therapy. Professor Maureen Neitz will be member of the examining committee of Einat Hauzman’s Doctoral Thesis, on November 25th, 2014. (AU)

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