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Frans Vinberg

Frans Vinberg, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Research Interests

  • Light Adaptation and Neuromodulation
  • Visual Perception or Processing
  • Adaptation, Ocular
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Retinal Degeneration
  • Retinal Diseases
  • Ophthalmic Genetics
  • Ischemia/Reperfusion

Over 10 years of experience in ocular research, specifically in retinal (patho)physiology. Development and commercialization of a novel instrument to measure electrical activity of the retinal cells from ex vivo animal or human donor retina samples. Tenure track Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and adjunct faculty in the Biomedical Engineering department. A member of the University of Utah Neuroscience program and admission committee, and a course director and lecturer of the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience course. Research is focused on understanding the mechanisms in the photoreceptor cells that enable vision over a wide range of light intensities from a moonless night to a sunny day on the powdery slopes. Furthermore, we aim to elucidate how these mechanisms are affected in the major blinding diseases including Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Research Statement

Our focus is to study how mammalian photoreceptors function and interact with retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), bipolar and Müller glia cells to enable vision over a wide range of light intensities. The main goal is to understand how the interactions and function of these retinal cells are affected in major blinding diseases, including Retinitis Pigmentosa, Diabetic Retinopathy, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Washington University School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow
Aalto University School of Science
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Aalto University School of Science
Helsinki University of Technology

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Hutto RA, Bisbach CM, Abbas F, Brock DC, Cleghorn WM, Parker ED, Bauer BH, Ge W, Vinberg F, Hurley JB, Brockerhoff SE (2019). Increasing Ca2+ in photoreceptor mitochondria alters metabolites, accelerates photoresponse recovery, and reveals adaptations to mitochondrial stress. Cell Death Differ, 27(3), 1067-1085. (Read full article)
  2. Mure LS, Vinberg F, Hanneken A, Panda S (2019). Functional diversity of human intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. Science, 366(6470), 1251-1255. (Read full article)
  3. Vinberg F, Palczewska G, Zhang J, Komar K, Wojtkowski M, Kefalov VJ, Palczewski K (2019). Sensitivity of Mammalian Cone Photoreceptors to Infrared Light. Neuroscience, 416, 100-108. (Read full article)
  4. Getter T, Gulati S, Zimmerman R, Chen Y, Vinberg F, Palczewski K (2019). Stereospecific modulation of dimeric rhodopsin. FASEB J, 33(8), 9526-9539. (Read full article)
  5. Vinberg F, Chen J, Kefalov VJ (2018). Regulation of calcium homeostasis in the outer segments of rod and cone photoreceptors. Prog Retin Eye Res, 67, 87-101. (Read full article)
  6. Vinberg F, Kefalov VJ (2018). Investigating the Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent mechanisms for mammalian cone light adaptation. Sci Rep, 8(1), 15864. (Read full article)
  7. Vinberg F, Peshenko IV, Chen J, Dizhoor AM, Kefalov VJ (2018). Guanylate cyclase-activating protein 2 contributes to phototransduction and light adaptation in mouse cone photoreceptors. J Biol Chem, 293(19), 7457-7465. (Read full article)


  1. Frans Vinberg, Vladimir Kefalov (2012). In-to-Ex Vivo ERG Instrument.