Jay Neitz, PhD

Professor; Bishop Foundation Chair


Undergraduate Education: BA, Psychology/Physics, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA,1979
Graduate Education: Ph.D., Biopsychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA,1986
Post-Doctoral Education: Post-doc, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 1986

Previous Faculty Positions:
 Research Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
 Professor with Tenure, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI


Jay Neitz received his Ph.D. in Biopsychology from the University of California in Santa Barbara in 1986. His graduate work was conducted in the laboratory of Gerald Jacobs, Ph.D., and it focused on understanding how the human visual system works using color vision as a model.  

After graduating in 1986, he continued post-doctoral training in the Jacobs lab and began collaborating with his wife, Maureen Neitz, Ph.D. who was also in the Jacobs lab. In 1991, Jay Neitz took his first faculty position at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After nearly 18 years in Wisconsin, Maureen and Jay Neitz moved their labs to the University of Washington in January 2009. He is currently the Bishop Professor in Ophthalmology.

Primary office

University of Washington Vision Science Neitz Lab

Location: South Lake Union

Mailing Address: University of Washington Neitz Lab, E291 Box 358058 Seattle, WA 98109-8058

Phone: 206-616-0043 Fax: 206-685-9315 Website: www.neitzvision.com

Awards and honors

1999 Medical College of Wisconsin, Beckman Award for Excellence in Teaching
2000 Medical College of Wisconsin, Graduate School, Mentor of the Year Award
2003 Medical College of Wisconsin Society of Teaching Scholars
2003 Alcon Research Institute Award for Research Excellence
2007 Research to Prevent Blindness, Senior Scientific Investigator Award
2006-present RD & Linda Peters Professor in Ophthalmology
2009-present Bishop Professorship, University of Washington
2008 Australian Broadcast Company documentary titled "Cracking the Colour Code" featured the work from the last funding period of this grant
2009 Time Magazine’s #3 top scientific discovery of the year

Research focus

Dr. Neitz studies the biological basis of vision and vision disorders, including color vision. His goal is to make discoveries that will lead to a better understanding of how the visual system and brain work. He hopes his work will contribute to treatments for vision disorders, including macular degeneration, nearsightedness and colorblindness.


The Neitz Labs are developing genetic tests and treatments for common vision disorders and investigating the retinal circuitry for vision.  

Jay and Maureen Neitz collaborate in their studies of the visual system, taking a multidisciplinary approach that uses techniques ranging from molecular genetics to human and animal psychophysics. Major focus areas include developing gene therapy for cone-based vision disorders, investigating the role of genetic variability in cone photo pigments in common eye diseases, including AMD, myopia, and glaucoma, and understanding the physiological basis for color perception.  In addition, the Neitzes are developing genetic tests to identify individuals at risk for developing common eye diseases so that therapeutic interventions can be started before symptoms appear.



    No publications are available at this time.

UW Department of Ophthalmology

908 Jefferson St.. Seattle, WA 98104 (academic offices)
Harborview Medical Center (mailing address)
Box 359608, 325 Ninth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.543.7250
Fax: 206.685.7055


For Patients

For Medical Professionals