Biochemist joins National Academy of Sciences
Los Angeles—Wayne L. Hubbell, PhD, the Jules Stein Professor of Ophthalmology and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
He has focused his research on the relationship between the molecular structure of a protein and the conformational changes that control its function. He is particularly interested in membrane proteins that behave as "molecular switches," that are switched to an active state by a physical or chemical signal.
Dr. Hubbell has studied light-activated rhodopsin, the pigment in retinal photoreceptor cells. He hopes to clarify the structure of rhodopsin, the mechanism of the molecular switch, and the regulation of this switch by associated proteins.
He also is investigating the structure and function of water-soluble proteins such as the lens protein and the family of retinoid-carrying proteins that transport vitamin A throughout photoreceptor cells.
In addition to Dr. Hubbell, the NAS boasts 11 scientists actively researching vision.