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Johan Pahlberg, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Contact Information:

(301) 451-1307

35 Convent Dr., Room 3F-233
Porter Neuroscience Research Center, Bldg 35
Bethesda, Maryland 20892


Dr. Pahlberg received his Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki, Finland, in 2007. His doctoral work, under the supervision of Professor Kristian Donner, focused on the adaptive evolution of visual pigments, and molecular mechanisms optimizing signaling in rod photoreceptors. His postdoctoral work with Dr. A.P. Sampath at the University of Southern California and University of California Los Angeles, focused on how mechanisms in rod bipolar cells is modulated for optimal signal detection in the retina. His current work is aimed at elucidating how rod photoresponses are processed and parsed into the retinal circuitry, and thus how optimization of response transmission already at the first visual synapse is achieved, by integrating physiology with genetics.

Selected publications

Corinne Beier*, Ulisse Bocchero*, Lior Levy, Zhijing Zhang, Nange Jin, Stephen Massey, Cristophe Ribelayga, Kirill Martemyanov, Samer Hattar, Johan PahlbergDivergent outer retinal circuits drive image and non-image visual behaviors. Cell Reports(2022) 39(13):111003.

Tian Wang, Johan Pahlberg, Jon Cafaro, Rikard Frederiksen, AJ Cooper, Alapakkam P. Sampath, Greg D. Field, Jennie Chen. Activation of rod input in a model of retinal degeneration reverses retinal remodeling and induces formation of functional synapses and recovery of visual signaling in the adult retinaJ Neurosci (2019) 39(34):6798-6810.

Johan Pahlberg*, Rikard Frederiksen*, Gabriel Pollock, Kiyoharu Miayagishima, Alapakkam P. Sampath, Carter Cornwall. Voltage-sensitive conductances increase the sensitivity of rod photoresponses following pigment bleachingJ Physiol (2017)595: 3459–3469.

Johan Pahlberg*, Anurima Majumder*, Hakim Muradov, Kimberly K. Boyd, Alapakkam P. Sampath, Nikolai O. Artemyev. Exchange of cone for rod phosphodiesterase 6 catalytic subunits in rod photoreceptors mimics in part features of light adaptationJ Neurosci (2015) 35(24): 9225-35.

Johan Pahlberg*, Anurima Majumder*, Kimberly K. Boyd, Vasily Kerov, Saravanan Kolandaivelu, Visvanathan Ramamurthy, Alapakkam P. Sampath, Nikolai O. Artemyev. Transducin translocation contributes to rod survival and enhance synaptic transmission from rods to rod bipolar cellsProc Natl Acad Sci (2013) 110(30): 12468-12473.

Invited Peer-Reviewed Book chapters and Review Articles:

Johan Pahlberg, Anurima Majumder, Nikolai O. Artemyev. Ex vivo functional evaluation of synaptic transmission from rods to rod bipolar cells in miceIn Methods in Molecular Biology: Mouse Retinal Phenotyping (2018) 1753:203-216.

Johan Pahlberg, Alapakkam Sampath. The mitigation of transduction and synaptic noise in sensory systems is key to setting detection threshold. Bioessays (2011) 33(6): 438-477.

Last updated: August 2, 2022