Heping Xu, MD

Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Dr Heping Xu studied Medicine at Hengyang Medical College and completed his PhD training at Xiangya Hospital, Human Medical University, China. He undertook further trainings first on cell biology in Tokyo, Japan, and then on ocular immunology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He was appointed as a Research Council UK (RCUK) Fellow in 2005. He joined the Queen’s University Belfast as a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in 2009 and appointed as a Professor of Ocular Immunology in 2013. 

Dr Xu leads the ocular immunology lab in the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast. His research has been supported by sustained funding from a range of organisations such as RCUK, the Wellcome Trust, JDRF, Diabetes UK and Fight for Sight. His programme of research has focused on important cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune response in ocular health and disease. His work around ocular para-inflammation has helped the scientific community to better understand the importance of a low-grade chronic inflammation in the pathogenesis of common sight-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in top journals of immunology and ophthalmology, including Blood, Journal of Immunology, American Journal of Pathology, Glia, Aging Cell, Prog Ret Eye Res, and IOVS. Professor Xu serves as a member of the Editorial Board for four journals.