Phyllis Robinson

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Phyllis Robinson

Professor

Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Bldg 470

Education

Ph D University of Wisconsin-Madison 1981

About

I obtained a BA from Wellesley College and a Ph.D from University of WI-Madison. I was a post doctoral fellow at Brandeis University and joined the faculty at UMBC in 1992. In addition to my research program, I am known for my efforts to increase the participation of women and minorities in science at UMBC. She co-founded the Women in Science and Engineering group at UMBC and was a Co-PI on the UMBC NSF ADVANCE grant and currently co-chairs the University executive committee on Gender and Diversity in Science, technology, engineering and math. I am also the Director of the U-RISE NIH training program.

Research Interests

The aim of my research is to understand how information in the environment is transformed into an appropriate biological signal. I study this problem of signal transduction in photoreceptors for they are accessible to a variety of techniques, providing a system in which it is possible to interface the approaches of biochemistry, molecular biology and physiology. My research has resulted in 50 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters. I have mentored 10 PhD students, and over 50 undergraduates.

Teaching Interests

I am interested in Vision Science, Signal Transduction and Neurobiology.

Selected Classes

  • Spring 2020 BIOL 397 – Ethics/Integ Scient Res
  • Fall 2019 BIOL 651 – Neurobiology
  • BIOL 451 – Neurobiology
  • Spring 2019 BIOL 654 – Vision Science
  • BIOL 454 – Vision Science
  • Fall 2018 BIOL 445 – Signal Transduction
  • BIOL 645 – Signal Transdxn

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants, and Sponsored Research

Robinson, Phyllis R. “FASEB's The Biology and Chemistry of Vision Conference,” Grant (In-Progress). Sponsored By: NIH.

Robinson, Phyllis R (Co-Principal). “Highly Sensitive Planar Anapole Microsonators for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of submicroliter /submicromolar sample,” Sponsored Research (Funded). Sponsored By: NIH.

Peercy, Bradford E., Hoffman, Kathleen (Co-Principal), Robinson, Phyllis R (Supporting). “Learning and Innovation at the Interface of Mathematics and Medicine: A NEW Approach,” Grant Sponsored By: Hrabowski Innovation Fund. (Jan 1, 2015 – Dec 31, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Co-Principal), Hattar, S, Brown, R L. “The functional contribution of melanopsin phototransduction in ipRGC subtypes,” Grant (Funded). (May 1, 2017 – May 31, 2022).

Robinson, Phyllis R (Principal). “U-RISE at the University of Maryland Baltimore County,” Grant (Funded). Sponsored By: NIH. (Apr 1, 2020 – Mar 31, 2025).

Intellectual Contributions

Fasick, J I., Algrain, H, Serba, K M., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2020). The retinal pigments of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) and their role in visual foraging ecology-CORRIGENDUM.. 37 E011 Visual neuroscience.

Valdez-Lopez, J C., Gebreegziabher, M, Bailey, R J., Flores, J, Awotunde, O, Burnett, T, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2020). Protein Phosphatase 2A and Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis Facilitate Robust Melanopsin Light Responses and Resensitization.. 12. 61 10 Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.

Valdez-Lopez, J C., Petr, S T., Donohue, M P., Bailey, R J., Gebreeziabher, M, Cameron, E G., Wolf, Julia B., Szalai, V A., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2020). The C-Terminus and Third Cytoplasmic Loop Cooperatively Activate Mouse Melanopsin Phototransduction.. 2. 119 389-401 Biophysical journal.

Valdez-Lopez, J C., Gulati, S, Ortiz, E A., Palczewski, K, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2020). Melanopsin Carboxy-terminus phosphorylation plasticity and bulk negative charge, not strict site specificity, achieves phototransduction deactivation.. 4. 15 e0228121 PloS one.

Valdez-Lopez, J C., Gulati, S, Ortiz, E A., Palczewski, K, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2020). Melanopsin Carboxy-terminus phosphorylation plasticity and bulk negative charge, not strict site specificity, achieves phototransduction deactivation.. 4. 15 e0228121 PloS one.

Fasick, J I., Algrain, H, Serba, K M., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2019). The retinal pigments of the whale shark (<i>Rhincodon typus</i>) and their role in visual foraging ecology.. 36 E011 Visual neuroscience.

Somasundaram, P, Wyrick, G R., Fernandez, D C., Ghahari, A, Pinhal, C M., Simmonds Richards, M, Rupp, A, Cui, L, Wu, Z, Brown, R L., Baeda, T C., Hattar, S, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2017). C-terminal phosphorylation regulates the kinetics of a subset of melanopsin-mediated behaviors in mice. 10. 114 :2741-2746. PNAS.

Fasick, Jeffry, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2016). Adaptations of Cetacean Retinal Pigments to Aquatic Environments.. 4 70 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution..

Keenan, W T., Rupp, A C., Ross, R A., Somasundaram, P, Hiriyanna, S, Wu, Z, Badea, T C., Robinson, Phyllis R., Lowell, B B., Hattar, S S. (2016). A visual circuit uses complementary mechanisms to support transient and sustained pupil constriction.. 5 eLife.

Keenan, W., Rupp, A C., Ross, R A., Somasundaram, Preethi, Hiriyanna, S, Wu, Z, Baeda, t, Robisnon, P R., Lowell, B B., Hattar, S. (2016). A visual circuit uses complementary mechanisms to support transient and sustained pupil constriction.. Elife.

Brown, R. Lane., Camacho, Erika, Cameron, Evan G., Hamlet, Christina, Hoffman, Kathleen, Kang, Hye Won., Robinson, Phyllis R., Williams, Katherine S., Wyrick, Glenn R. (2015). A stochastic model of the melanopsin phototransduction cascade. IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics/Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

Porter, M L., Kingston, A C., McCready, R, Cameron, E G., Hofmann, Christophe M., Suarez, L, Olsen, G H., Cronin, Thomas W., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2014). Characterization of visual pigments, oil droplets, lens and cornea in the whooping crane Grus americana.. Pt 21. 217 3883-90 The Journal of experimental biology.

Blasic, Jr, J R., Matos-Cruz, V, Ujla, D, Cameron, E G., Hattar, S, Halpern, M E., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2014). Identification of critical phosphorylation sites on the carboxy tail of melanopsin.. 16. 53 2644-9 Biochemistry.

Blasic, Jr., Joseph R.., Matos-Cruz, Vanessa, Ujla, Devyani, Cameron, Evan, Hattar, Samer, Halpern, Marnie, Robinson, Phyllis R. (2014). Identification of the phosphorylation sites of melanopsin involved in deactivation. Biochemistry.

Cameron, E G., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2014). β-Arrestin-dependent deactivation of mouse melanopsin.. 11. 9 e113138 PloS one.

Blasic,JR, Joseph R., Brown, R. Lane., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2012). Light-dependent phosphorylation of the carboxy tail of mouse melanopsin.. 9. 69 1551-62 Cell Mol Life Sci.

Blasic, Jr., Joseph R., Brown, R. Lane., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2012). Phosphorylation of Mouse Melanopsin by Protein Kinase A.. 7 10.1371 Plos.

Cronin, Thomas W., Porter, Megan, Bok, Michael, Wolf, Julia B., Robinson, Phyllis R. (2010). The molecular genetics and evolution of colour and polarization vision in stomatopod crustaceans , Ophthal.Physiol.Opt. 30 460-469

Presentations

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author), Valdez, Juan. 18th International Conference on Retinal Proteins. Poster. "Structural and Molecular Analysis of Signaling Activation and Desensitization in Melanopsin, an Opsin G-Protein Coupled Receptor," International Conference on Retinal Proteins. Toronto, Canada. (Sep 1, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author), Valdex, Juan (Author & Presenter). 18th International Conference on Retinal Proteins. Paper. "Structural and Molecular Analysis of Signaling Activation and Desensitization in Melanopsin, an Opsin G-Protein Coupled Receptor," International Conference on Retinal Proteins. Toronto, Canada. (Sep 1, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author & Presenter), King, J. (Author). American Chemical Society Annual meeting. Oral Presentation. "MARC at UMBC," American Chemical Society. Boston, MA. (Aug 1, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R., Valdez, Juan, Szalai, Veronika, Petr, Stephen. Retinal Neurobiology and Visual Processing. Poster. "Unique Structural and Molecular Determinants that Contribute to Melanopsin (Opn4) Phototransduction," FASEB. Olean, NY. (Jun 1, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R., Rubin, Alexis (Author & Presenter). Retinal Neurobiology and Visual Processing. Poster. "A comparison of genetic editing techniques to create mutations in the mouse melanopsin sequence.," FASEB. Olean, NY. (Jun 1, 2018).

Robinson, Phyllis R (Author & Presenter). Marine Mammal Sensory Systems: an Integrated Perspective. Lecture. "Phyllis Non-image forming vision in Cetaceans: What is melanopsin doing in the Aquatic mammal eye?," Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference on Marine Mammal Biology Post-COnference Workshop. Halifax,N.S.. (Oct 29, 2017).

Robinson, Phyllis R., Algrain, Haya (Author & Presenter). Biennial Conference on Marine Mammal Biology. Poster. ", Cetacean sunglasses? Deactivation kinetics of melanopsin in cetacean rod monochromats,," The Society for Marine Mammalogy. Halifax,N.S.. (Oct 1, 2017).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author), Algrain, Haya (Author & Presenter), Fasick, Jeffrey (Author). The Biology and Chemistry of Vision. Poster. "The Adaptation of Melanopsin Signaling Kinetics in Rod Monochromats,," FASEB. Steamboat SPring, CO. (Jun 1, 2017).

Robinson, Phyllis R (Moderator). The Biology and Chemistry of Vision. Oral Presentation. ":”Seeing the Future: Vision careers in industry, government and academia”," FASEB. Steamboat SPring, CO. (Jun 1, 2017).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author), Somasundaram, Preethi (Author & Presenter). The Biology and Chemistry of Vision. Oral Presentation. "C-terminal phosphorylation regulates the kinetics of a subset of melanopsin-mediated behaviors in mice," FASEB. Steamboat SPring. (Jun 1, 2017).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author), Samasundraram, Preethi (Author & Presenter). ARVO. Poster. "C-terminal phosphorylation regulates the kinetics of a subset of melanopsin-mediated behaviors in miceAssociation for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology," Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Baltimore, MD. (May 1, 2017).

Somasundaram, P (Author & Presenter), Fernandez, D C. (Author), Rupp, A (Author), Baeda, T C. (Author), Brown, R L., Hattar, S (Author), Robinson, Phyllis R (Author). Society for Neuroscience. Poster. "C-terminal phosphorylation plays a crucial role the kinetics of non-image forming visual behaviors i," Society for Neuroscience. San Deigo, CA. (Nov 1, 2016).

Robinson, Phyllis R. (Author & Presenter), Porter, Megan (Author). International Society for Eye Research. Oral Presentation. "Shedding New Light on Opsin Evolution,," International Society for Eye Research. Berlin, Germany. (Jul 1, 2012).