Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurobiology & Anatomy
The Fu Lab
Phototransduction, Protein Trafficking, Retinal Degeneration
The Fu lab is interested in using the visual system to study sensory transduction, protein trafficking, and the biological mechanisms underlying various types of neurodegeneration and aging. Please see our publications: PNAS 108, 14578-14583, 2011; PNAS 108:8879-8884, 2011; Nature Neuroscience 11: 565-571, 2008. Recently, the Fu lab has made significant progress toward the understanding of two blinding diseases: Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), the most severe retinal dystrophy in early childhood, and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The PI has recently won the NEI Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation http://www.nei.nih.gov/challenge. A recent exciting project in the lab is to permanently correct disease-associated mutations in a patient using molecules that are specially designed to target mutated DNA sequences (such as TALEN and CRISPR) and that can be delivered safely and efficiently into the tissue. Such strategies could potentially provide the best cure or prevention for many diseases, which has the potential to forever transform healthcare.
We place emphasis in Translational Research-- discovering disease mechanisms and developing innovative treatment strategies. Due to the translational nature of our research, students will have good employment opportunities in both academia and industry. With diverse research projects (from basic to translational) and sufficient funding (the lab is currently funded by two NIH R01s (R01EY022614 and R01EY022901), there is ample opportunity for incoming students. We welcome rotation students!
Students are expected to learn a variety of techniques in modern neuroscience research including genetics, electrophysiology, biochemistry, cell biology, advanced in vivo and in vitro imaging, nanoparticle drug delivery, viral and non-viral based gene therapy, and animal behavior.
Zhang, T., Enemchukwu, N., Jones, A., Wang, S., Dennis, E., Watt, C., Pugh, E., and Fu, Y. (2015) Genetic deletion of S-opsin prevents rapid cone degeneration in a mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis. Hum Mol Genet, 24:1755-1763.
Kumar, S., Berriochoa, Z., Ambati, B., and Fu, Y. (2014) Angiographic features of transgenic mice with increased expression of serine protease HTRA1. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, pii: IOVS-13-13111. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13111. Epub ahead of print.
Zhang, T., Baehr, W., and Fu, Y. (2013) Chemical chaperone TUDCA preserves cone photoreceptors in a mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 53(7):3349-3356.
Jones, A., Kumar, S., Zhang, N., Tong, Z., Yang, J.-H., Watt, C., Anderson, J., Fnu, A., Fillerup, H., Mccloskey, M., Luo, L., Yang, Z., Ambati, B., Marc, R., Oka, C., Zhang, K., and Fu, Y. (2011) Increased expression of HTRA1 in retinal pigment epithelium induces polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108:14578-14583.
Zhang, T., Zhang, N., Baehr, W., and Fu, Y. (2011) Cone opsin determines the time course of cone photoreceptor degeneration in Leber congenital amaurosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108 (21):8879-8884.
Fu, Y. (2010) Phototransduction: Phototransduction in Rods. In Encyclopedia of the Eye. Edited by Besharse, J., Dana, R. & Dartt, D. A. Elsevier Academic Press. Volume 3, pp. 397-402.
Yang, Z., Tong, Z., Chen, Y., Zeng, J., Sun, X., Zhao, C., Davey, L., Wang, K., Chen, H., London, N., Muramatsu, D., Salasar, F., Kasuga, D., Wang, X., Dixie, M., Zhao, P., Yang, R., Gibbs, D., Lu, F., Liu, X., Li, Y., Li, B., Li, C., Li, Y., Campochiaro, B., Constantine, R., Zack, D., Campochiaro, P., Fu, Y., Li, D., Katsanis, N., and Zhang K. (2010) Genetic and functional dissection of HTRA1 and LOC387715 in age-related macular degeneration. PLoS Genet, 6, e1000836.
Fu, Y., Kefalov, V., Luo, D. G., Xie, T., Yau, K. W. (2008) Quantal noise from human red cone pigment. Nature Neuroscience, 11:565-571.
Fu, Y., and Yau, K.W. (2007) Phototransduction in mouse rods and cones. Pflugers Arch. - Eur J of Physiol., 454:805-819.
Imai, H., Kefalov, V., Sakurai, K., Chisaka, O., Ueda, Y., Onishi, A., Morizumi, T., Fu, Y., Ichikawa, K., Nakatani, K., et al. (2007) Molecular properties of rhodopsin and rod function. J Biol Chem, 282:6677-6684.
Fu, Y., Zhong, H., Wang, M.H., Luo, D.G., Liao, H.W., Maeda, H., Hattar, S., Frishman, L.J., and Yau, K.W. (2005) Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells detect light with a vitamin A-based photopigment, melanopsin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 102(29):10339-10244.
Fu, Y., Liao, H. W., Do, M. T., Yau, K. W. (2005) Non-image-forming ocular photoreception in vertebrates. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 15(4):415-422.
Kefalov, V.*, Fu, Y.*, Marsh-Armstrong, N., and Yau, K.W. (2003) Role of visual pigment properties in rod and cone phototransduction. Nature, 425:526-531. *Equal contribution co-first authors.