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Krzysztof Palczewski

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.

Recipient of the Science Award from Foundation for Polish Science, 2014.

The Friedenwald Award from The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2014.

The Beckman - Argyros Award in Vision Research, 2014.

Cogan Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 1996.

Relevant Publications

M. Golczak et al, "LRAT-specific domain facilitates Vitamin A metabolism by domain swapping in HRASLS," Nature Chem. Biol. vol. 11, pp. 26-32, 2014.

P.D. Kiser et al., "Catalytic mechanism of a retinoid isomerase essential for vertebrate vision," Nature Chem Biol., vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 409-15, 2015.

G. Palczewska et al., "Human infrared vision is triggered by two−photon chromophore isomerization," Proc Natl Acad Sci, vol. 111, pp. E5445-E5454, 2014.

A. Maeda et al, "Primary amines protect against retinal degeneration in mouse models of retinopathies," Nat Chem Biol, vol. 8, pp. 170-8, 2012.

Y. Chen et al, "Systems pharmacology identifies drug targets for Stargardt disease-associated retinal degeneration," J Clin Invest, vol. 123, pp. 5119-5134, 2013.


Y. Tsybovsky and K. Palczewski, "Retinoid Pathway Gene Mutations and the Pathophysiology of Related Visual Diseases," in The Retinoids: Biology, Biochemistry, and Disease, P. Dollé and K. Niederreither, Eds., Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.



Senior Fellow Molecular Architecture of Life


Case Western Reserve UniversityDepartment of Pharmacology


PhD (Biochemistry) Technical University of Wroclaw

MS (Organic Chemistry) Technical University of Wroclaw


United States

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