Executive Team

J. Preston Van Hooser - Principal

Van Hooser is a well-respected University of Washington researcher and entrepreneur. He began his career in 1991 at the R.S. Dow - Neurological Sciences Institute in Portland, OR, under the direction of Dr. Krzysztof Palczewski. In 1992, he relocated to the University of Washington (UW), Department of Ophthalmology, Seattle, WA, with Dr. Palczewski where his research efforts led to the restoration of sight in an animal model with a disorder that also affects man (Van Hooser et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000;97:8623-8628{INSERT LINK}). and the first crystal structure of rhodopsin from purified bovine ROS prepared by Van Hooser (Palczewski et al., Science, 2000;289:739-745, see Reference and Notes 59). The structure of rhodopsin reveals the interactions of the ground state chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, with residues in the seven alpha-helix transmembrane domain. The chromophore plays a key role in holding the transmembrane region in the inactive conformation. (Palczewski et al., Science, 2000;289:739-745).

The overall objective of Van Hooser's research (1992-2002) under the direction of Palczewski, was to understand the molecular events initiated by light in photoreceptor cells. His research primarily focused on issues related to the visual cycle, especially those relevant to phototransduction, light- and dark-adaptation, and the chemical processing of retinoid cycle intermediates. Many of these issues remained unanswered, including the enzymology of the retinoid cycle, the mechanisms by which these intermediates diffuse within and between the photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium (the pigment cell layer that nourishes the retinal cells) and the dependence of phototransduction reactions on the operation of the cycle. Knowledge of phototransduction in the retina could enhance our overall understanding of similar events in hormonal signaling, cellular communication and immune regulation, and provide baseline information for further studies of retinal disease processes.

In 1995, Van Hooser founded SPCI Retina, dba InVision BioResources which specializes in providing high quality bovine retina, purified bovine ROS and RPE microsomes for use in vision research globally. Van Hooser continues to be involved with academic research through his current affiliation with the Department of Comparative Medicine and Office of Animal Welfare at the UW. In 2006, Van Hooser founded Cirrus BioSystems, a Seattle based company that manufactures automated lab equipment for use within SPF environments. Through the development of innovative tools and technologies, Cirrus BioSystems improves standard operating procedures in animal research. Van Hooser has two patents filed and has been widely published in a variety of books and industry journals.

Barry H. Rickman - Veterinary Pathologist

Barry Rickman, VMD, PhD will work closely with you on your translational research projects using mouse and other species. Dr. Rickman is a board certified veterinary pathologist with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). His experience and interests are in the pathology of animal models of human diseases, especially ocular pathology. He is current owner of Sound VetPath, a veterinary and comparative pathology service that offers comprehensive veterinary pathology consulting for your research.

Dr. Rickman received his Veterinary Medical Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Columbia University with Professor Koji Nakanishi, a leading expert in the area of retinal chemistry. Dr. Rickman completed his comparative pathology training in the Comparative Medicine Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. He worked with a variety of neuropathology projects including cancer research, hereditary diseases and autoimmune/inflammatory disorders. Following his training, Dr. Rickman worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a strong focus in infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Rickman's pathology experience is focused on inflammatory and neoplastic diseases.

Please contact Dr. Rickman to discuss your project and research needs. By phone at 425-954-5314 or by email at rickman@soundvetpath.com