M. Carter Cornwall, PhD
Emeritus Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

PhD, University of Utah
BS, University of Utah

The work in our laboratory is focused on understanding the response of the vertebrate eye to and recovery from the effects of bright light. Our principal approach is to make electrophysiological measurements of rod and cone photoreceptors of cold-blooded vertebrate animals, and to correlate these physiological responses to microspectrophotomeric measurements of the visual pigments as well as microfluorometric measurements of the concentration of vitamin A and Ca2+ contained within the cells. The reduction of all–trans retinal to Vitamin A is one of the principal initial steps that must occur following exposure to bright light to allow recovery of sensitivity (dark adaptation). Experiments have also shown that Ca2+ is a principal messenger substance during bright (bleaching) adaptation.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses
09/01/2017 - 06/30/2022 (PI)
NIH/National Eye Institute

Phototransduction in Dark Adaptation and retinal Degeneration
02/01/2016 - 01/31/2019 (Subcontract PI)
University of Southern California NIH NEI

Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses
04/01/2012 - 03/31/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Eye Institute

Reactions of the Visual Cycle in Rods and Cones
10/01/2004 - 09/30/2006 (PI)
Russian Academy of Sciences US Civ Res & Dev Fdn

Spatial and Temporal Resolution of Retinol Fluorescence in Photoreceptors
07/01/2000 - 06/30/2002 (PI)
Foundation Fighting Blindness, The


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2020 Spectral & Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 3R01EY001157-45S1 52
2020 Spectral & Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-46 52
2019 Spectral & Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-45 52
2018 Spectral & Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-44 52
2017 Spectral & Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 2R01EY001157-43 52
2015 Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-42 52
2014 Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-41 52
2013 Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-40 52
2012 Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 2R01EY001157-39 52
2011 Spectral and Metabolic Basis of Visual Responses 5R01EY001157-38 52
Showing 10 of 42 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Adhikari RD, Kossoff AM, Cornwall MC, Makino CL. Bicarbonate boosts flash response amplitude to augment absolute sensitivity and extend dynamic range in murine retinal rods. Front Mol Neurosci. 2023; 16:1125006.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37122625; PMCID: PMC10140344; DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2023.1125006;
  2. Luo DG, Silverman D, Frederiksen R, Adhikari R, Cao LH, Oatis JE, Kono M, Cornwall MC, Yau KW. Apo-Opsin and Its Dark Constitutive Activity across Retinal Cone Subtypes. Curr Biol. 2020 12 21; 30(24):4921-4931.e5. PMID: 33065015; PMCID: PMC8561704; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.062;
  3. Lokappa SB, Cornwall MC, Chen J. Isoelectric Focusing to Quantify Rhodopsin Phosphorylation in Mouse Retina. Bio Protoc. 2019 Jul 20; 9(14):e3300. PMID: 33654813; PMCID: PMC7854240; DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3300;
  4. Yue WWS, Silverman D, Ren X, Frederiksen R, Sakai K, Yamashita T, Shichida Y, Cornwall MC, Chen J, Yau KW. Elementary response triggered by transducin in retinal rods. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 03 12; 116(11):5144-5153. PMID: 30796193; PMCID: PMC6421417; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1817781116;
  5. Morshedian A, Toomey MB, Pollock GE, Frederiksen R, Enright JM, McCormick SD, Cornwall MC, Fain GL, Corbo JC. Cambrian origin of the CYP27C1-mediated vitamin A1-to-A2 switch, a key mechanism of vertebrate sensory plasticity. R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Jul; 4(7):170362. PMID: 28791166; PMCID: PMC5541561; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170362;
  6. Pahlberg J, Frederiksen R, Pollock GE, Miyagishima KJ, Sampath AP, Cornwall MC. Voltage-sensitive conductances increase the sensitivity of rod photoresponses following pigment bleaching. J Physiol. 2017 Jun 01; 595(11):3459-3469. PMID: 28168711; PMCID: PMC5451700; DOI: 10.1113/JP273398;
  7. Yue WW, Frederiksen R, Ren X, Luo DG, Yamashita T, Shichida Y, Cornwall MC, Yau KW. Spontaneous activation of visual pigments in relation to openness/closedness of chromophore-binding pocket. Elife. 2017 Feb 10; 6. PMID: 28186874; PMCID: PMC5302883; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.18492;
  8. Sato S, Frederiksen R, Cornwall MC, Kefalov VJ. The retina visual cycle is driven by cis retinol oxidation in the outer segments of cones. Vis Neurosci. 2017 Jan; 34:E004. PMID: 28359344; PMCID: PMC5534460; DOI: 10.1017/S0952523817000013;
  9. Toomey MB, Lind O, Frederiksen R, Curley RW, Riedl KM, Wilby D, Schwartz SJ, Witt CC, Harrison EH, Roberts NW, Vorobyev M, McGraw KJ, Cornwall MC, Kelber A, Corbo JC. Complementary shifts in photoreceptor spectral tuning unlock the full adaptive potential of ultraviolet vision in birds. Elife. 2016 Jul 12; 5. PMID: 27402384; PMCID: PMC4947394; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.15675;
  10. Frederiksen R, Nymark S, Kolesnikov AV, Berry JD, Adler L, Koutalos Y, Kefalov VJ, Cornwall MC. Rhodopsin kinase and arrestin binding control the decay of photoactivated rhodopsin and dark adaptation of mouse rods. J Gen Physiol. 2016 Jul; 148(1):1-11.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27353443; PMCID: PMC4924931; DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201511538;
Showing 10 of 81 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 76 publications over 34 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 1983 and 1994 and 1996 and 2001 and 2006 and 2009 and 2017


In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

fluorescence microscopy

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700 Albany St
Boston MA 02118
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