The Imanishi lab is in the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine. The major goal of the labis to understand the molecular basis of protein transport and membrane morphogenesisin photoreceptor neurons. Deficiencies in these processes lead to photoreceptor degenerative disorders. By combining imaging and molecular biology methods, we  aspire to solve long standing questions regarding the mechanism ofphotoreceptor degeneration caused by mislocalized rhodopsin. Another critical goal of the laboratory is to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treating inherited blinding disorders.

To accomplish these goals, Imanishi Lab focuses on the following areas of research: (1) Morphogenesis and maintenance of membrane structures in photoreceptor neurons; (2) Ciliary protein trafficking and ciliopathy in the retina; (3) Drug discovery for inherited blinding disorders. We apply state of the art imaging technologies such as STED microscopy, multiphoton microscopy, and high-contents/high-throughout confocal microscopy to visualize and study the dynamic cellular processes. Moreover, we develop new technologies  to study proteome in photoreceptor and other retinal neurons at previously unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution.

Positions are available for graduate students and postdocs who are interested in the areas of neurosciences and cell biology.


07.13.19 - Review article published in the Annual Review of Vision Science!

05.06.19 - Philip Ropelewski (Graduate Student) published his work in the Journal of Neuroscience!

02.01.19 - Dr. Imanishi is awarded a new R01 grant focusing on protein homeostasis in inherited blinding disorders!

11.21.18 - Dr. Sakami's work published in the FASEB journal!

11.01.18 - Dr. Mohammad Harun-Or-Rashid joins the Imanishi Lab!

09.10.18 - Dr. Imanishi is invited to give a talk at the ISER XXIII Biennial Meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.

07.20.18 - Dr. Imanishi is invited to give a talk at the International Symposium on Usher Syndrome in Mainz, Germany.

10.20.17 - Dr. Imanishi receives the Pisart Award in Vision Research!

Research Interests

Ongoing projects on the cell biology of photoreceptor neurons.


Find our published papers, books, and protocols. 

About Us

Current and previous lab members.

Available Positions

Seeking inquisitive, motivated individuals.



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