John E. Dowling, the Gordon and Llura Gund Professor of Neurosciences at Harvard, was awarded the Glenn A. Fry Medal in Physiological Optics during a ceremony at the Great Lakes Vision Research Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 21.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Dowling, who is now president of the Corporation of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., was at the forefront of research into the identification of the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters that mediated retinal synaptic communication. He also helped establish the concept of neuromodulation in the retina and was involved in seminal studies that investigated the role of dopamine as a neuromodulator in the retina. In the 1990s, he began working with zebrafish in order to identify the genes important in regulating both visual sensitivity and retinal development.