Zhongjie Fu, PhD

Instructor, Department of Ophthalmology, Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Dr. Fu was majored in Applied Biology and Biotechnology in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (sponsored by University Grants Committee). She graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Ph.D. in Ophthalmology in 2012 (sponsored by Postgraduate Studentships) and joined Dr Lois Smith’s group for postdoctoral training (currently funded by The Knights Templar Eye Foundation and The Bernadotte Foundation).

Dr. Fu’s research interests are in understanding the basic mechanism of retinal vascular biology, particularly the metabolic effects on diabetic retinopathy (DR), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Her graduate research focused on the effects of aldose reductase (a key enzyme in the polyol pathway metabolizing excess unused glucose) deficiency in proliferative retinopathy. She found that genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of aldose reductase protected against vascular changes. She became aware of the importance of glucose metabolism in pathological vascular proliferation. Dr. Fu continues investigating the role of metabolic alterations in retinopathy progression as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Lois Smith’s lab. She aims to explore the hormonal and nutritional impacts in retinal diseases: i) the effects of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on retinal blood vascular changes, and its underlying mechanisms; ii) the role of the adipocyte-derived hormone adiponectin in eye disease progression; iii) the glucose/lipid metabolic changes in retinopathy.

Dr. Fu is also an active reviewer for journals including Angiogenesis, BBA-Molecular Basis of Disease, Experimental and Molecular Pathology, Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, PLOS ONE, Molecular Vision. Dr. Fu commits to the prevention or cure of potentially blinding disease like ROP, DR, and AMD that can or may eventually be treated or prevented in infants, children and the elderly.