Sabrina Asteriti

I study calcium signalling in Drosophila photoreceptors using single cell electrophysiology and genetically encoded indicators. The principal aim of my work is to clarify the calcium-dependent mechanisms responsible for the extraordinary visual performance of the fruit-fly. Postdoctoral Research Associate Research Interests During my PhD I investigated various aspects of vertebrate photoreceptor function. In particular I characterised the functional relevance of electrical coupling between rods and cones in the mouse retina. I  also examined evolutionary aspects of vision by performing some of the first recordings from the lamprey retina. We found that these primitive-looking vertebrates, whose last common ancestor with us lived in the Cambrian period, have rod-like photoreceptors capable of detecting single photons. This suggests that highly sensitive photoreceptors had already evolved from an ancestral cone in the Cambrian, conferring dim-light vision…

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