New laboratories at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah are working to understand how the brain processes visual information, and to unravel the mysteries of retinal signaling.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Associate Prof. Behrad Noudoost, MD, PhD, and Assistant Prof. Frans Vinberg, PhD, joined Moran in September.

Noudoost.jpgNoudoost studies how cognitive processes change the processing of visual information. He has examined the relationship between attention, memory, and eye movement and their effect on visual processing. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, he is currently focused on mapping the role of the brain’s prefrontal cortex in vision.

Noudoost joins Moran from Montana State University, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. He earned his PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences in Tehran, Iran, and his medical degree from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran. Noudoost conducted his postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

Frans_Vinberg.jpgVinberg works to understand mechanisms in the retina that enable the human eye to function over a wide range of light intensities and colors, and examines how these mechanisms are affected in major blinding diseases including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Vinberg earned his master’s degree in engineering physics and PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Aalto University, Finland. During his postdoctoral training at Washington University, Vinberg developed a device that allows researchers to assess the function of retinal cells and the effects of drugs on them. The Ex Vivo ERG is commercially available and spreading around the world, adding to our understanding of retinal signaling and blinding diseases.