Krzysztof Palczewski

Krzystof Palczewski


  • Fellow
  • Molecular Architecture of Life


  • University of California Irvine
Department of Pharmacology


  • United States


PhD (Biochemistry), Technical University of Wroclaw
MS (Organic Chemistry), Technical University of Wroclaw


Krzysztof Palczewski’s research focuses on the activation and signalling of the light-sensitive rod and cone cells found in the eye. He is best known for his discovery of the structure of rhodopsin, a light-sensitive receptor protein, and its folding and binding properties. The goals of his research group are to understand the biochemical mechanisms of rhodopsin inactivation; the biochemical similarities and differences in how rod and cone cells generate signals; and the enyzmes involved in molecular transformations in the retina.


Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU), 2015
Science Award, Foundation for Polish Science, 2014
Friedenwald Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2014
Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research, 2014
Cogan Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 1996

Relevant Publications

Golczak, M. et al. "LRAT-specific domain facilitates Vitamin A metabolism by domain swapping in HRASLS." Nature Chem Biol. 11 (2014): 26–32.
Tsybovsky, Y., and K. Palczewski. "Retinoid Pathway Gene Mutations and the Pathophysiology of Related Visual Diseases." In The Retinoids: Biology, Biochemistry, and Disease, edited by P. Dollé and K. Niederreither. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.
Kiser, P.D. et al. "Catalytic mechanism of a retinoid isomerase essential for vertebrate vision." Nature Chem Biol. 11, no. 6 (2015): 409–15.
Palczewska, G. et al. "Human infrared vision is triggered by two−photon chromophore isomerization." Proc Natl Acad Sci 111 (2014): E5445–E5454.
Maeda, A. et al. "Primary amines protect against retinal degeneration in mouse models of retinopathies." Nat Chem Biol. 8 (2012): 170–78.
Chen, Y. et al. "Systems pharmacology identifies drug targets for Stargardt disease-associated retinal degeneration." J Clin Invest 123 (2013): 5119–5134.