Ophthalmology And Visual Sciences

Sheila A. Baker, PhD


Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Contact Information

Primary Office: 4-712 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-353-4119

Lab: 4-712 BSB
Iowa City , IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-6516

Email: sheila-baker@uiowa.edu
Web: Baker Laboratory


BS, Biology, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
PhD, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin

Post Doctorate, Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School
Post Doctorate, Ophthalmology, Albert Eye Research Institute, Duke University

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry PhD
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

Our vision has such a large dynamic range that we can adjust to see under the glaring light of high noon to traverse a desert or detect the small scattering of photons that reach our eye after traveling for 2.5 million light-years from the Andromeda Galaxy. How is this possible? One part of the answer to that question lies in the cellular organization of our photoreceptors where a division of labor ensures optimal function. The phototransduction cascade, one of the best studied G-protein signaling pathways, is confined to the membrane discs of the outer segment; while energy production, metabolism, lipid and protein synthesis are confined to the inner segment. Distinct from the outer or inner segment, the ribbon synapse is where communication to downstream neurons in the retina is regulated. We study how various proteins are trafficked to, and organized within, these compartments using mouse or frog photoreceptors as our model systems. By gaining insight into the interplay between the regulated trafficking of different proteins and the development and health of photoreceptors the vision research community will be better positioned to combat blindness. Please contact us if you have questions about our current projects.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research

Selected Publications

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Cao Y, Sarria I, Fehlhaber K, Kamasawa N, Orlandi C, James K, Hazen J, Gardner M, Farzan M, Lee A, Baker S, Baldwin K, Sampath A, Martemyanov K.  Mechanism for Selective Synaptic Wiring of Rod Photoreceptors into the Retinal Circuitry and Its Role in Vision..  Neuron.  2015 September 23. 87(6):1248-60.

Laird J, Pan Y, Modestou M, Yamaguchi D, Song H, Sokolov M, Baker S.  Identification of a VxP targeting signal in the flagellar Na<sup>+</sup> /K<sup>+</sup> -ATPase..  Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark).  2015 September 16. 

Pan Y, Laird J, Yamaguchi D, Baker S.  An N-Terminal ER Export Signal Facilitates the Plasma Membrane Targeting of HCN1 Channels in Photoreceptors..  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2015 June 1. 56(6):3514-21.

Pan Y, Laird J, Yamaguchi D, Baker S.  A di-arginine ER retention signal regulates trafficking of HCN1 channels from the early secretory pathway to the plasma membrane.  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.  2014 August 21. 

Pan Y, Bhattarai S, Modesto M, Drack A, Chetkovich D, Baker S.  TRIP8b is required for maximal expression of HCN1 in the mouse retina.  PLoS One.  2014 January 7. 9(1):e850850.

Pearring J, Lieu E, Winter J, Baker S, Arshavsky V.  R9AP targeting to rod outer segments is independent of rhodopsin and is guided by the SNARE homology domain. .  Mol Biol Cell.  2014. 25(17):2644-9.

Liu X, Kerov V, Haeseleer F, Artemyev N, Baker S, Lee A.  Dysregulation of Cav 1.4 channels disrupts the maturation of photoreceptor synaptic ribbons in congenital stationary night blindness type 2.  Channels (Austin).  2013 September 24. 7(6).

Knoflach D, Kerov V, Satori G, Obermair G, Schmuckermair C, Liu X, Sothilingam V, Garrido M, Baker S, Glosmann M, Schicker K, Seeliger M, Lee A, Koschak A.  Cav1.4 IT mouse as model for vision impairment in human congenital stationary night blindness type 2.  Channels (Austin).  2013 September 19. 7(6).

Pearring J, Salinas R, Baker S, Arshavsky V.  Protein sorting, targeting and trafficking in photoreceptor cells.  Progress in retinal and eye research.  2013 April. 

Salinas R, Baker S, Gospe S, Arshavsky V.  A single valine residue plays an essential role in peripherin/rds targeting to photoreceptor outer segments.  PloS one.  2013. 8(1):e54292.

Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 - 13:17:48