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William Stark, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Courses Taught

Human Physiology, Physiology Lab, Neuroscience


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Interests

Stark's research interests center around visual receptor function. His specialties are visual sensitivity to ultraviolet light, rhodopsin, and vitamin A's diverse effects in visual receptors. In addition to being the chromophore that absorbs light in the rhodopsin molecule, his research demonstrates that vitamin A controls transcription of genes relevant to vision. Zeaxanthin and lutein are interesting carotenoids since they provide 3-hydroxy retinal, the chromophore of Drosophila's rhodopsin. Zeaxanthin and lutein also protect the human macula from blue light.

Labs and Facilities

See Stark's lab website

Publications and Media Placements

Shim, K., Picking, W. L., Kutty, K., Thomas, C. F., Wiggert, B., Stark,W. S. Control of Drosophila retinoid and fatty acid binding glycoprotein expression by retinoids and retinoic acid: Northern, western and immunocytochemical analyses. Experimental Eye Research, 1997, 65, 717-727.

Liou, G. I., Matragoon, S., Chen, D.-M., Gao, C. L., Zhang, L., Fei,Y., Katz, M. L. Stark, W. S. Visual sensitivity and interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein in the mouse: Regulation by vitamin A. The FASEB Journal, 1998,12,129-138. ONLINE at:

van Huizen, R., Miller, K., Chen, D.-M., Li, Y., Lai, Z.-C., Raab, R.W., Stark, W. S., Shortridge, R. D., Li, M. Two distantly positioned PDZdomains mediate multivalent INAD-phospholipase C interactions essential for the G protein-coupled signaling. EMBO Journal, 1998, 17, 2285-2297.

Chen, D.-M., Dong, G, Stark, W. S. Ultraviolet light damage and reversal by retinoic acid in juvenile goldfish. In Retinal Degenerative Diseases and Experimental Therapy (eds. J. G. Hollyfield, R.E. Anderson, M. M. LaVail), New York, Plenum, 1999, 325-336.

Neckameyer, W., O'Donnell, J., Huang, Z., Stark, W. Dopamine and sensory tissue development in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Neurobiology, 2001, 47, 280-294. PubMed. ONLINE the hyperlink for ONLINE ishttp://

Shim, K., Zavarella, K. M., Thomas, C. T., Shortridge, R. D., Stark, W. S. Evidence for indirect control of phospholipase C (PLC-b) by retinoids in Drosophila phototransduction. Molecular Vision, 2001; 7:216-221 ONLINE the hyperlink for ONLINE is

Kim, S., Chen, D.-M., Zavarella, K., Fourtner, C. F., Stark, W. S.,Shortridge, R. D. Substitution of a non-retinal phospholipase C in Drosophila phototransduction. Insect Molecular Biology 12: 147-153, 2003.

Stark, W. S., Thomas, C. F. Microscopy of multiple visual receptor types in Drosophila, Molecular Vision, 2004, 2004; 10:943-955 ONLINE at:

Lalonde, M.M., Janssens, H., Rosenbaum, E., Choi, S.Y., Gergen, J. P.,Colley, N.J., Stark, W.S., Frohman, M.A.. Regulation of phototransduction responsiveness andretinal degeneration by a phospholipase D-generated signaling lipid. J.Cell Biol. 169, 471-479, 2005. ONLINE at: