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Principal Investigator 

Prof. Christopher Leung​, Clinical Professor

Team members

Dr. Heather Mak, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jasmine Yung, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Tracy Ho, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ken Wu, Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests

Glaucoma, a chronic progressive optic neuropathy, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Whereas lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP) has been shown to be effective to slow optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma, a significant portion of glaucoma patients continue to develop progressive loss in vision despite adequate control of IOP. Development of neuroprotective therapy to prevent optic nerve degeneration by mechanisms other than IOP-lowering is an unmet need to alleviate the burden of glaucoma blindness. In addition to devising experimental models to decipher the mechanisms of optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma, our lab is undertaking clinical trials and animal studies to identify novel treatment targets for neuroprotection, neuroenhancement, and neuroregeneration in glaucoma, non-glaucomatous optic neuropathies, and retinal dystrophies.  

Selected Publications

*Corresponding Author

  1. Mak HK, *Leung CKS. MicroRNA-based therapeutics for optic neuropathy: opportunities and challenges. Neural Regen Res. 2021 In Press (Invited Editorial).

  2. Mak HK, Yung JSY, Weinreb RN, Ng SH, Cao X, Ho TYC, Ng TK, Chu WK, Yung WH, Choy KW, Wang CC, Lee TL, *Leung CKS. MicroRNA-19a-PTEN Axis Is Involved in the Developmental Decline of Axon Regenerative Capacity in Retinal Ganglion Cells. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2020;21:251-263.

  3. Qin Z, He S, Yang C, Yung JS, Chen C, Leung CKS, Liu K, Qu JY. Adaptive optics two-photon microscopy enables near-diffraction-limited and functional retinal imaging in vivo. Light Sci Appl. 2020;9:79.

  4. Mak HK, Ng SH, Ren T, Ye C, *Leung CKS. Impact of PTEN/SOCS3 deletion on amelioration of dendritic shrinkage of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve injury. Exp Eye Res. 2020;192:107938.

  5. Chan KC, Yu Y, Ng SH, Mak HK, Yip YWY, van der Merwe Y, Ren T, Yung JSY, Biswas S, Cao X, Chau Y, *Leung CKS. Intracameral injection of a chemically cross-linked hydrogel to study chronic neurodegeneration in glaucoma. Acta Biomater. 2019;94:219-231.

  6. Wu J, Mak HK, Chan YK, Lin C, Kong C, *Leung CKS, Shum HC. An in vitro pressure model towards studying the response of primary retinal ganglion cells to elevated hydrostatic pressures. Sci Rep. 2019;9:9057.

  7. Cao X, Yung J, Mak H, *Leung CKS. Factors governing the transduction efficiency of adeno-associated virus in the retinal ganglion cells following intravitreal injection. Gene Ther. 2019;26:109-120.

  8. Lindsey JD, Duong-Polk KX, Hammond D, Leung CKS, Weinreb RN. Protection of injured retinal ganglion cell dendrites and unfolded protein response resolution after long-term dietary resveratrol. Neurobiol Aging. 2015;36:1969-81.

  9. Liu S, Li ZW, Weinreb RN, Xu G, Lindsey JD, Ye C, Yung WH, Pang CP, Lam DS, *Leung CKS. Tracking retinal microgliosis in models of retinal ganglion cell damage. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:6254-62.

  10. Li ZW, Liu S, Weinreb RN, Lindsey JD, Yu M, Liu L, Ye C, Cui Q, Yung WH, Pang CP, Lam DS, *Leung CKS. Tracking dendritic shrinkage of retinal ganglion cells after acute elevation of intraocular pressure. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52:7205-12.

Selected Research Grants

  1. Nicotinamide riboside as a neuroprotective therapy for glaucoma – a randomized controlled trial 
      Hong Kong Health and Medical Research Fund (Project Reference: 06171076)
      Principal Investigator: Christopher Leung
  2. Improving vision and quality of life in patients with glaucoma using non-invasive brain stimulation and perceptual                    learning: A Randomized Clinical Trial
      Hong Kong Research Grants Council Research Impact Fund (Project Reference: R5047-19)
      Co-Principal Investigator: Christopher Leung
  3. In vivo, multi-modal characterization of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection of the visual system in a novel                        experimental glaucoma model
      Prevent Blindness/Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Research Collaborators Award 
      Co-Principle Investigator: Christopher Leung
  4. Gene therapy for treatment of optic neuropathies and inherited retinal degeneration
      Supported by a research grant from Huizhou Central People’s Hospital, Huizhou, PRC
      Principal Investigator: Christopher Leung
  5. Impact of PTEN/SOCS3 deletion on dendritic regeneration: A time-lapse in vivo imaging study 
      Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund (Project Reference: 14109814)
  6. Investigation of MicroRNA-19a as an ocular gene therapy for glaucoma using a novel hydrogel-induced experimental             glaucoma model 
      Hong Kong Health and Medical Research Fund (Project Reference: 07180846)
      Principal Investigator: Heather Mak
  7. Inhibition of microglial P2X4 receptor attenuates neuroinflammation and enhances photoreceptor survival in retinal               degeneration
      Hong Kong Health and Medical Research Fund (Project Reference: 05161116)
      Principal Investigator: Tracy Ho



Leung CKS, Chau Y, Yu Y. Induction of chronic elevation of intraocular pressure with vinysulfonated hyaluronic acid (HA-VS) and thiolated hyaluronic acid (HA-SH) hydrogel (US 9895394 B2). Filed on 10 March 2015. Date of Patent: 20 February, 2018.

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