Jeannie Chen

Department of Cell & Neurobiology
Department of Ophthalmology
Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute
Keck School of Medicine of USC
PIBBS Mentor

Jeannie  Chen

Research Topics

  • Signal transduction
  • Photoreceptor function
  • Retinal degeneration
  • retinal circuitry

Research Images

Retina's first image. Rod bipolar cells are labeled green and their receptors on their dendrites are labeled red.

Research Overview

My laboratory investigates regulatory steps in phototransduction and how defective signaling leads to death of rods and cones. We are also interested in how the input (or the lack thereof) from rod and cone photoreceptors affects retinal circuitry during development and disease. Our approach is to create transgenic mouse models using gene addition, targeted gene knockout or gene knock-in for introducing subtle mutations. These lines of mice then serve as platforms for multidisciplinary studies. Our area of expertise is in molecular biology, biochemistry and various imaging modalities that include light microscopy, electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. We collaborate with electrophysiologists who use single cell recordings and multi-electrode arrays to record from a large population of retinal neurons to study cell and retinal circuitry function.

Contact Information

Mailing Address Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute
1501 San Pablo Street, ZNI-227
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2821
Office Location ZNI-227
Office Phone (323) 442-4479
Lab Location ZNI-223
Lab Phone (323) 442-4359
Fax (323) 442-4433
Office Location ZNI-227


  • B.A., Occidental College, 1983.
  • Ph.D. USC, 1990.
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar, Caltech, 1995.

Selected Publications

View a complete PubMed searchView a complete Google Scholar search
  • Berry J, Frederiksen R, Yao Y, Nymark S, Chen J, Cornwall C. (2016) Effect of rhodopsin phosphorylation on dark adaptation in mouse rods. J Neurosci 36:6973-87 PubMed
  • Azevedo AW, Doan T, Moaven H, Sokal I, Baameur F, Vishnivetskiy SA, Homan KT, Tesmer JJ, Gurevich VV, Chen J, Rieke F. (2015) C-terminal threonines and serines play distinct roles in the desensitization of rhodopsin, a G protein-coupled receptor. Elife.05981. PubMed
  • Vinberg F, Wang T, Molday RS, Chen J, Kefalov VJ. (2015) A new mouse model for stationary night blindness with mutant Slc24a1 explains the pathophysiology of the associated human disease. Hum Mol Genet 24:5915-29 PubMed
  • Sakurai K, Chen J, Khani SC, Kefalov VJ. (2015) Regulation of mammalian cone phototransduction by recoverin and rhodopsin kinase. J Biol Chem 290:9239-50 PubMed
  • Wang T, Chen J. (2014) Induction of the unfolded protein response by constitutive G-protein signaling in rod photoreceptor cells. J Biol Chem. 289:29310-21 PubMed
  • Moaven H, Koike Y, Jao CC, Gurevich VV, Langen R, Chen J. (2013) Visual arrestin interaction with clathrin adaptor AP-2 regulates photoreceptor survival in the vertebrate retina. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:9463-8 PubMed
  • Chen J, Woodruff ML, Wang T, Concepcion F, Tranchina D, Fain GL. (2010) Channel modulation and the mechanism of light adaptation in mouse rods. J Neurosci. 30:16232-16240. PubMed
  • Concepcion F, Chen J. (2010) Q344ter mutation causes mislocalization of rhodopsin moleculesthat are catalytically active: a mouse model of Q344ter-induced retinal degendration. PLoS One 5(6):e10904
  • Chen J, Woodruff ML, Wang T, Concepcion FA, Tranchina D, Fain GL (2010) Channel modulation and the mechanism of light adaptation in mouse rods. J Neurosci. 30:16232-40. PubMed
  • Doan, T., Mendez, A., Detwiler, P.B., Chen, J. and Rieke, F. (2006) Multiple phosphorylation sites confer reproducibility of the rod's single photon response. Science. 313:530-533. PubMed