Jay Neitz

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Jay Neitz
Born1953 (age 68–69)
Alma mater
  • San Jose State University (BA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (PhD)
Known forColor vision research
Spouse(s)Maureen Neitz
Scientific career
  • University of Washington
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
ThesisVariations in Color Matching Among Humans with Normal Color Vision (1986)
Doctoral advisorGerald Jacobs

Jay Neitz (born 1953) is an American professor of ophthalmology and a color vision researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

Education and career[edit]

Neitz grew up in Montana.[1] He attended San Jose State University for his undergraduate, finishing with a BA in psychology and physics in 1979.[2] He went on to receive his PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1986 under the direction of Gerald Jacobs. His thesis title was Variations in Color Matching Among Humans with Normal Color Vision.[3] After his PhD, he stayed at the same institution as a postdoctoral researcher for several years before starting a permanent position at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He moved to the University of Washington in 2009, where he is currently the Bishop Professor of Ophthalmology.[2]


Neitz's research lab, which is run jointly with his spouse Maureen Neitz, works on the biology of vision disorders, particularly related to color-blindness.

Their work on treating color-blindness in monkeys received some attention in the popular science press. In this work, they gave gene therapy to two red-green color-blind squirrel monkeys, combined with training. After five months, the monkeys began to be able to distinguish red and green. There is some potential that a similar treatment may be eventually developed for humans.[4][5][6] Neitz and coauthors have also proposed that gene therapies of this type might in the more distant future be able to give tetrachromatic vision to humans with normal vision.[7]

In 2010, Neitz and his wife Maureen Neitz were awarded the Pepose Award in Vision Science by Brandeis University.[8]


  1. ^ "Laurel High Graduation". Kulr8.com. August 21, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Jay Neitz, PhD (faculty profile)". Department of Ophthalmology. University of Washington. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Neitz, Jay (1986). Variations in Color Matching Among Humans with Normal Color Vision (PhD thesis). University of California, Santa Barbara.
  4. ^ "Scientists Cure Color Blindness in Monkeys". Science News Daily. September 16, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Brandon Heim (September 16, 2009). "Gene Therapy Cures Color Blind Monkeys". Wired.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Rogers, Adam. "Monkeys With Superpower Eyes Could Help Cure Color Blindness". Wired.com. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  7. ^ Neitz, Jay; Carroll, Joseph; Neitz, Maureen (January 2001). "Color Vision: Almost Reason Enough for Having Eyes" (PDF). Optics & Photonics News. Optical Society of America. 12 (1): 26. Bibcode:2001OptPN..12...26N. doi:10.1364/OPN.12.1.000026.
  8. ^ "Vision researchers Jay and Maureen Neitz to receive first Pepose Award from Brandeis". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2020-02-08.

External links[edit]