Oliver Ernst researches the receptors used in human nerve cell communication to send signals across membranes, and control many functions, including vision, memory, and
learning. He is an expert on G-protein- coupled receptors, especially rhodopsins, a protein family in the retina of vertebrate animals that can detect visible and UV light. Using various spectroscopy techniques and X-ray crystallography, he works to understand the mechanisms of how these proteins interact with signal proteins, and the structures of GPCRs and rhodopsins in their inactive and active states.
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Structural Neurobiology
Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Neuroscience at University of Toronto
L. Ye et al, "Activation of the A2A adenosine G-protein- coupled receptor by conformational selection", Nature, vol. 533, pp. 265-258, 2016.
P. J. Johnson et al, "Local vibrational coherences drive the primary photochemistry of vision", Nature Chemistry, vol. 7, pp. 980-986, 2015.
Y. Kang et al., "Crystal structure of rhodopsin bound to arrestin by femtosecond X-ray laser", Nature, vol. 523, pp. 561-567, 2015.
O. P. Ernst et al, "Microbial and animal rhodopsins: Structures, functions, and molecular mechanisms", Chem. Rev., vol. 114, pp. 126-163, 2014.
H. W. Choe et al, "Crystal structure of metarhodopsin II", Nature, vol. 471, pp. 651-655, 2011.
Program Co-Director Molecular Architecture of Life
Senior Fellow Molecular Architecture of Life
University of TorontoDepartment of Biochemistry
PhD (Biochemistry) Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Ideas Related to Oliver Ernst
CIFAR’s four new programs are having their first collaborative meetings, delving into questions such as how to improve solar energy, define the complexities of human consciousness, and improve health through a better understanding of microbes and the molecular basis of life.
CIFAR researchers have discovered that the first molecular reaction in vision generation happens much faster than any previously known biological...