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    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).

    Wayne L. Hubbell, PhD, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences as one of 12 scientists actively researching vision.
    Dr. Hubbell, who joined the UCLA faculty in 1983, is the 12th NAS member still active in vision research.

    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.

    They are:

    • Constance L. Cepko, PhD, professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston;
    • Robert Desimone, PhD, neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD;
    • John E. Dowling, PhD, biological laboratories, Harvard Medical School;
    • Thaddeus P. Dryja, MD, ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School;
    • David H. Hubel, MD, neurobiology, Harvard Medical School;
    • H. Gobind Khorana, PhD, biology and chemistry, MIT, Cambridge, MA;
    • Jeremy Nathans, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore;
    • Carla J. Shatz, PhD, neurobiology, Harvard Medical School;
    • Alfred Sommer, MD, public health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health;
    • Robert Wurtz, PhD, Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD; and
    • Charles S. Zuker, PhD, biological sciences, University of California, San Diego.

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