Frank Werblin is Professor of the Graduate School, Division of
Neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Werblin earned his Ph.D. at
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University studying with
Professor John Dowling. He was a Guggenheim Fellow, and is noted
for discovering a number of cellular correlates underlying visual
information processing in the retina.
In 1969, Werblin and Dowling published their seminal studies of the
electrophysiological response properties of all the major neuron types
in the vertebrate retina. The micropipette used to record from each
cell contained a dye so that each physiologically identified cell
could also be morphologically characterized within the layers of the
retina. In 1978, he published the first isolated retinal slice
preparation for a quicker and easier means to access all of the
neurons in the various layers of the retina, while leaving the cells
largely intact with their supporting matrix and synaptic connections
and electrical junctions. However, because the retinal slice was
isolated from the supportive retinal pigment epithelium (PE) that
enables the light responses of photoreceptors, light evoked responses
were not reported until the retinal slices were constructed with PE
still attached. In this manner, whole cell patch recording of
amacrine neurons in the salamander retina allowed light evoked
excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) to be measured for the first
time, as well as their light elicited spiking potentials, and
voltage-gated currents. The new slice technique allowed, for the first
time, a neuron to be characterized by its natural stimulus (light),
and then to be fully characterized by its morphological, histological,
electrophysiological (EPSCs, voltage gated currents, and graded and
spike potentials), and chemical identity. The new light-responsive
slice methodology also allowed interplexiform cells to be identified
and characterized for the first time, as well as sustained and
transient amacrine neurons. Precise localization of synaptic inputs
to the cell, and localization of functional receptors in the cell was
achieved. The slice technique would become a standard for retinal
research and be developed for other animals with much smaller neurons,
including the Zebrafish and rat. Werblin would then use these
data to construct elegant models of visual information processing in
the different layers of the retina.
Werblin is also a co-inventor of Visionize, a device/software to help
^ "Werblin Lab".
^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation - Frank Simon Werblin".
^ Werblin, Frank (1969). "Organization of the retina of the mudpuppy,
Necturus maculosus. II. Intracellular recording". Journal of
Neurophysiology. 32 (3): 339–355.
^ Werblin, Frank (1978). "Transmission along and between rods in the
tiger salamander retina". Journal of Physiology. 280: 449–470.
doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1978.sp012394. PMC 1282669 .
PMID 211229. More than one of pmc= and PMC= specified
^ Maguire, Greg (1989). "
Amacrine cell interactions underlying the
response to change in the tiger salamander retina". Journal of
Neuroscience. 9 (2): 726–735. PMID 2918384.
^ Maguire, Greg (1989). "Gamma-aminobutyrate type B receptor
modulation of L-type calcium channel current at bipolar cell terminals
in the retina of the tiger salamander". Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. 86 (24): 10144–10147.
doi:10.1073/pnas.86.24.10144. PMC 298663 .
^ Maguire, Greg (1990). "Synaptic and voltage-gated currents in
interplexiform cells of the tiger salamander retina". Journal of
General Physiology. 95 (4): 755–770. doi:10.1085/jgp.95.4.755.
^ Maguire, Greg (1999). "Rapid desensitization converts prolonged
glutamate release into a transient EPSC at ribbon synapses between
retinal bipolar and amacrine cells". European Journal of Physiology.
11: 353–362. doi:10.1046/j.1460-9568.1999.00439.x.
^ Maguire, Greg (1999). "Spatial heterogeneity and function of
voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels in retinal amacrine neurons".
Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 266: 987–992.
doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0734. PMC 1689933 .
^ Connaughton, Vicki (1988). "Differential expression of voltage-gated
K+ and Ca2+ currents in bipolar cells in the zebrafish retinal slice".
European Journal of Neuroscience. 10: 1350–1362.
doi:10.1046/j.1460-9568.1998.00152.x. PMID 9749789.
^ Sassoè-Pognetto, M (1996). "Synaptic organization of an organotypic
slice culture of the mammalian retina". Visual Neuroscience. 13:
759–771. doi:10.1017/s0952523800008634. PMID 8870231.
^ Werblin, Frank (2011). "The retinal hypercircuit: A repeating
synaptic interactive motif underlying visual function". Journal of
Physiology. 589: 3691–3702. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.210617.
PMC 3171878 .
^ Lien, Tracy (March 19, 2016). "Cutting Edge Vision uses virtual
reality headsets to help people with low vision