Ophthalmology And Visual Sciences

Stewart Thompson, MS, PhD


Assistant Professor of

Contact Information

Primary Office: 4111  MERF
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-353-5752

Email: stewart-thompson@uiowa.edu
Web: Photosensory Biology Laboratory


BS, Biochemistry, Kingston University
MS, Neuroscience, King’s College of the University of London
PhD, Physiology, Imperial College of the University of London

Post Doctorate, Postdoctoral Research, University of Toronto
Post Doctorate, Ophthalmology, University of Iowa

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program

Research Summary

Detection of light in the eye serves two distinct functions: spatial awareness (vision), and regulation of physiology and behavioural state (irradiance responses). This dual role means that eye disease that disrupts vision can also adversely affect health and performance. Documented effects of abnormal irradiance detection include disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep, reduced alertness and depressed mood. It is therefore clear that in eye disease, abnormal irradiance detection can negatively affect quality of life. However, the manner in which different eye diseases affect this critical role of the eye remains virtually unexplored. An integrative approach primarily in genetic mouse models is being used to understand: diseases and disease mechanisms that cause altered irradiance responses, the retinal cellular basis of irradiance detection for distinct responses to light, mechanisms of plasticity in retinal irradiance coding circuits, and disruptions in physiology because of altered irradiance detection that contribute to deficits in health and performance. Knowledge of the effects and basis for abnormal irradiance coding will be used to develop patient disorder management and prevention rationales, such as lighting and sleep regimens. This is complimented by collaborative contribution to studies of eye disease pathology, disease mechanism and therapeutic efficacy. related link: Photosensory Biology

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research

All Publications

Thompson S, Blodi F, Lee S, Welder C, Mullins R, Tucker B, Stasheff S, Stone E.  Photoreceptor cells with profound structural deficits can support useful vision in mice.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.  2014. 55(3):1859-66.

Ramachandran P, Bhattarai S, Singh P, Boudreau R, Thompson S, Laspada A, Drack A, Davidson B.  RNA interference-based therapy for spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 retinal degeneration.  PLoS One.  2014. 9(4):e95362.

Thompson S, Philp A.  Disorders of the Visual System.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  2013. 2.

van Oosterhout F, Fisher S, van Diepen H, Watson T, Houben T, Vanderleest H, Thompson S, Peirson S, Foster R, Meijer J.  Ultraviolet Light Provides a Major Input to Non-Image-Forming Light Detection in Mice.  Current Biology.  2012 August. 22(15):1397-1402.

Oosterhout F, Fisher S, Diepen H, Houben T, Leest H, Thompson S, Peirson S, Foster R, Meijer J.  An unexpected contribution of UVS cones to the murine circadian and sleep systems.  Current Biology ;  2012.  Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22771039

Thompson S.  Pupillometry: a clinical measure of retinal function in inherited disease..  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2012. 53(9):5570.

Thompson S, Stasheff S, Hernandez J, Nylen E, East J, Kardon R, Pinto L, Mullins R, Stone E.  Different inner retinal pathways mediate rod-cone input in irradiance detection for the pupillary light reflex and regulation of behavioral state in mice..  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2011 January. 52(1):618-23.

Thompson S, Recober A, Vogel T, Kuburas A, Owens J, Sheffield V, Russo A, Stone E.  Light aversion in mice depends on non-image-forming irradiance detection..  Behavioral neuroscience.  2010 December. 124(6):821-7.

Sundaresan P, Kumar S, Thompson S, Fingert J.  Reduced frequency of known mutations in a cohort of LHON patients from India..  Ophthalmic genetics.  2010 December. 31(4):196-9.

Sundaressan P, Mahesh K, Thompson S, Fingert J.  Reduced Frequency of Known Mutations in a Cohort of LHON Patients from India.  Ophthalmic Genetics.  2010 September 1. 

Thompson S, Whiting R, Kardon R, Stone E, Narfstr'_m K.  Effects of hereditary retinal degeneration due to a CEP290 mutation on the feline pupillary light reflex..  Veterinary ophthalmology.  2010 May. 13(3):151-7.

Thompson S, Whiting R, Kardon R, Stone E, Narfstrom K.  Effects of Hereditary Retinal Degeneration Due to a Cep 290 Mutation on the Feline Pupil Light Reflex.  Veterinary Ophthalmology.  2010. 13(3):151-7.

Sundaresan P, Vijayalakshmi P, Thompson S, Ko A, Fingert J, Stone E.  Mutations That are a Common Cause of Leber Congenital Amaurosis in North America are Rare in Southern India.  Molecular Vision.  2010. 

Lupi D, Oster H, Thompson S, Foster R.  The acute light-induction of sleep is mediated by OPN4-based photoreception..  Nature neuroscience.  2008 September. 11(9):1068-73.

Thompson S, Lupi D, Hankins M, Peirson S, Foster R.  The effects of rod and cone loss on the photic regulation of locomotor activity and heart rate..  The European journal of neuroscience.  2008 August. 28(4):724-9.

Thompson S, Mullins R, Philp A, Stone E, Mrosovsky N.  Divergent phenotypes of vision and accessory visual function in mice with visual cycle dysfunction (Rpe65 rd12) or retinal degeneration (rd/rd)..  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2008 June. 49(6):2737-42.

Mrosovsky N, Thompson S.  Negative and positive masking responses to light in retinal degenerate slow (rds/rds) mice during aging..  Vision research.  2008 May. 48(10):1270-3.

Thompson S, Foster R, Stone E, Sheffield V, Mrosovsky N.  Classical and melanopsin photoreception in irradiance detection: negative masking of locomotor activity by light..  The European journal of neuroscience.  2008 April. 27(8):1973-9.

Thompson S, Philp A, Stone E.  Visual function testing: a quantifiable visually guided behavior in mice..  Vision research.  2008 February. 48(3):346-52.

Davis R, Swiderski R, Rahmouni K, Nishimura D, Mullins R, Agassandian K, Philp A, Searby C, Andrews M, Thompson S, Berry C, Thedens D, Yang B, Weiss R, Cassell M, Stone E, Sheffield V.  A knockin mouse model of the Bardet-Biedl syndrome 1 M390R mutation has cilia defects, ventriculomegaly, retinopathy, and obesity..  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  2007 December. 104(49):19422-7.

Peirson S, Thompson S, Hankins M, Foster R.  Mammalian photoentrainment: results, methods, and approaches..  Methods in enzymology.  2005. 393:697-726.

Hattar S, Lucas R, Mrosovsky N, Thompson S, Douglas R, Hankins M, Lem J, Biel M, Hofmann F, Foster R, Yau K.  Melanopsin and rod-cone photoreceptive systems account for all major accessory visual functions in mice..  Nature.  2003 July. 424(6944):76-81.

Foster R, Hankins M, Lucas R, Jenkins A, Mu'±oz M, Thompson S, Appleford J, Bellingham J.  Non-rod, non-cone photoreception in rodents and teleost fish..  Novartis Foundation symposium.  2003. 253:3-23; discussion 23-30, 52-5, 102-9.

Date Last Modified: 08/04/2015 - 09:28:35