Jack Kaplan is renowned for his work to create compounds capable of releasing physiological substrates within milliseconds of being illuminated. He synthesised caged ATP — a photolabile version of the ATP molecule used by cells to transfer chemical energy — and discovered many of the properties that make such compounds useful. He is also esteemed for his work on the active transport of ions across cell membranes and more recently copper homeostasis in human cells.
He was responsible for introducing and developing caged compounds for use in biophysical and physiological studies. He continues to focus on this area, building on his previous work with the aim of providing novel photorelease techniques for cellular and molecular studies. In doing so, Jack has paved the way for important advances in a variety of fields.