Barry E. Knox, PhD

Barry E. Knox, PhD

Professor and Jacobsen Scholar,
Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Ophthalmology,
Upstate Medical University

Vision researcher Barry Knox has built an international reputation in part by pioneering the use of "transgenic" frogs (adapted frog embryos) to identify and study genetic mutations and how they relate to eye disease.

Knox also is widely recognized for his contributions related to the development and application of novel methods for the expression and analysis of photoreceptor genes and proteins.

His laboratory studies light transduction and development in the retina using molecular biological, biochemical and physiological approaches. Light transduction is carried out in specialized cells (rods and cones) that express a group of proteins designed to efficiently capture photons and transmit the information as a change in the conductance of the plasma membrane. The visual pigments (opsins) are a large family of proteins that absorb light and initiate the intracellular signal transduction pathway.

Knox's work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1992, including two RO1 awards from the National Eye Institute. Knox is a permanent member of the NIH's Biology and Diseases of the Posterior Eye Study Section, which reviews most grant proposals submitted to the National Eye Institute. He also reviews grant proposals for the National Science Foundation.

Knox has an extensive publication record with more than 50 papers, most in high-profile journals including Nature, Methods in Enzymology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Biochemistry, Biophysical Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Knox came to Upstate in 1990 after receiving his PhD from Johns Hopkins and post-doctoral training from Nobel Laureate H. Gobind Khorana at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In addition to being named a Jacobsen Scholar at Upstate, Knox has received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research, the President's Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research, the Chancellor's Research Recognition Award and Upstate's Young Investigator Award.