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Principal Investigator:

Dr. Amy C.Y. Lo, Associate Professor


Team members:
Dicky Ng, 
Research Assistant
Brian Tam, Research Assistant
Jessica Tsang  (2016 - date), PhD student
Rajesh Goit (
2018 - date), PhD student
Tingyu Hu (
2019 - date), PhD student
Ting Zhou (
2019 - date), PhD student
Yipin Wang (
2020 - date), PhD student

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​Research Interests

Dr. Lo’s research interest lies in understanding the basic mechanism of retinal biology, particularly neovascular biology and retinal degeneration in ocular diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. These are blinding eye diseases in the developing and aging population. Dr. Lo is also a neuroscientist interested in neurodegeneration in stroke and cerebral ischemic injury. Her research goals focus on how to protect the developing and aging retina as well as the brain. 
Dr. Lo has a strong track record in basic vision research and neuroscience using in vitro and in vivo models, providing a platform for screening of various pharmacological and natural agents. She has been particularly strong in using animal models to investigate both the pathogenesis of eye diseases and stroke and subsequently the therapeutic potential of various agents, including lutein and traditional Chinese Medicine. She is the first one to report on the therapeutic value of lutein in ischemic eye diseases and stroke and its various newly discovered effects. In addition, she is also the first one to publish the therapeutic value of Lycium barbarum in basic research using animal models of ischemic eye diseases and stroke. She has also used biomedical engineering approach using natural biomaterials and 3D culture systems in development and design of intravitreal drug delivery device. Currently, Dr. Lo is also interested in the role of novel regulated cell death pathways in ocular diseases using cell biological approaches for identification of potential therapeutic targets in ischemic retinopathies and stroke.

Current research interest
•    Protecting the developing retina against retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
•    Protecting the aging retina against diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration
•    Development and design of drug delivery devices for intravitreal applications
•    Protecting the brain against ischemic stroke
•    Understanding the role of novel regulated cell death pathways in pathogenesis of retinal and cerebral ischemic injuries

Long-term goal 
To develop new therapeutic targets and novel neuroprotective agents of clinical efficacy in the treatment of ischemic retinopathy and stroke 

Ten representative publications

*corresponding author
1.    Tsang JKW, Wolf SA, Pompoes IM, Joussen AM, Lam WC, Yang D, Lo ACY*: Potential Effects of Nutraceuticals in Retinopathy of Prematurity. Life (Basel). 2021 Jan 22;11(2):79. doi: 10.3390/life11020079. PMID: 33499180.
2.    Wang W, Tam KC, Ng TC, Goit RK, Chan KLS, Lo ACY*: Long-term lutein administration attenuates retinal inflammation and functional deficits in early diabetic retinopathy using the Ins2Akita/+ mice. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2020 Jul;8(1):e001519. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001519. PMID: 32665315
3.    Yang M, So KF, Lo ACY*, Lam WC*: The Effect of Lycium barbarum Polysaccharides on Pyroptosis-Associated Amyloid β1-40 Oligomers-Induced Adult Retinal Pigment Epithelium 19 Cell Damage. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 30;21(13):E4658. doi: 10.3390/ijms21134658. PMID: 32629957. 
4.    Wong FSY, Tsang KK, Chu AMW, Chan BP, Yao KM, Lo ACY*: Injectable cell-encapsulating composite alginate-collagen platform with inducible termination switch for safer ocular drug delivery. Biomaterials. 2019 May;201:53-67. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.01.032. Epub 2019 Feb 5. PMID: 30797114.
5.    Yang D, So KF, Lo AC*:  Lycium barbarum polysaccharides extracts preserve retinal function and attenuate inner retinal neuronal damage in a mouse model of transient retinal ischemia. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 Sep;45(7):717-729. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12950. Epub 2017 Apr 27. PMID: 28349587. 
6.    Fu Z, Meng SS, Burnim SB, Smith LE, Lo AC*: Lutein facilitates physiological revascularization in a mouse model of retinopathy of prematurity. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 Jul;45(5):529-538. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12908. Epub 2017 Jan 29. PMID: 28002872.
7.    Li SY, Fung FK, Fu ZJ, Wong D, Chan HH, Lo AC*: Anti-inflammatory effects of lutein in retinal ischemic/hypoxic injury: in vivo and in vitro studies. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Sep 6;53(10):5976-84. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10007. PMID: 22871829. 
8.    Fu ZJ, Li SY, Kociok N, Wong D, Chung SK, Lo AC*: Aldose reductase deficiency reduced vascular changes in neonatal mouse retina in oxygen-induced retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012 Aug 20;53(9):5698-712. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10122. PMID: 22836764. 
9.    Li SY, Yang D, Fu Z, Woo T, Wong D, Lo AC*: Lutein enhances survival and reduces neuronal damage in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. Neurobiol Dis. 2012 Jan;45(1):624-32. Epub 2011 Oct 17. PMID: 22024715. 
10.    Li SY, Fu ZJ, Ma H, Jang WC, So KF, Wong D, and Lo AC*: Effect of lutein on retinal neurons and oxidative stress in a model of acute retinal ischemia/reperfusion. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Feb;50(2):836-43. Epub 2008 Oct 20. PMID: 18936152. 

Book Chapters  * corresponding author

1.    Nian S and Lo ACY*: Protecting the aging retina. In: Neuroprotection (2019), edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung Chang and Yuen-Shan Ho, IntechOpen, print ISBN 978-1-78984-736-9, online ISBN 978-1-78984-737-6, eBook (pdf) ISBN 978-1-78985-925-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.77296.
2.    Wong FSY, Tsang KK, Lo ACY*: Nanoengineered biomaterial for brain tissue reconstruction and functional repairmen. In:Nanoengineered Biomaterials For Regenerative Medicine (2019), edited by Masoud Mozafari, Jayakumar Rajadas and David Kaplan, Elvesier, print ISBN 978-0-12-813355-2.
3.    Nian S and Lo ACY*: Lutein and the aging eye. In: Progress in Carotenoid Research (2018), edited by Leila Queriroz Zepka, Eduardo Jacob-Lopes and Veridiana Vera De Rosso, IntechOpen, print ISBN 978-1-78923-716-0, online ISBN 978-1-78923-717-7.
4.    Tang LHC, Wong IYH, Lo ACY*: Animal Models of Diabetic Retinopathy (Part 1) and (Part 2). In: Experimetnal Animal Models of Human Diseases – An Effective Therapeutic Strategy (2018), edited by Ibeh Bartholomew, IntechOpen, print ISBN 978-1-78923-164-9, online ISBN 978-1-78923-165-6.
5.    Lo ACY*, Yang D: Lycium Barbarum: Neuroprotective Effects in Ischemic Stroke. In: Lycium barbarum and Human Health (2015), edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung Chang and Kwok-Fai So, Springer, ISBN 978-94-017-9658-3.
6.    Lo ACY* and Yang D: Traditional Medicine in the Treatment and Prevention of Ischemic Stroke. In:  Ischemic Stroke: Symptoms, Prevention and Recovery (2013), edited by Virag Lakatos and Balazs Somogyi, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., ISBN 978-1622577996. 
7.    Lo ACY* and Wong IY: Nutritional Supplement Use and Age Related Macular Degeneration. In:  Age Related Macular Degeneration (2011), edited by Gui-Shuang Ying, InTech Open Access Publisher, ISBN 978-953-307-864-9 (http://www.intechopen.com/books/age-related-macular-degeneration-the-recent-advances-in-basic-research-and-clinical-care)
8.    Sisodia, SS, Thinakaran G, Lamb BT, Slunt HH, von Koch CS, Ginsberg SD, Lo ACY, Lee MK, Roskams AJI, Masliah E, Zheng H, Van der Ploeg LHT, Gearhart JD, and Price DL: In vivo biology of amyloid precursor protein/amyloid precursor-like proteins and transgenic animal models of Alzheimer's disease. In: Alzheimer's Disease. Etiological Mechanisms and Therapeutic Possibilities. JD Turner, K Beyreuther, F Theuring (EDS), Berlin, Springer, 1996, pp 61-76.
9.    Sisodia SS, Slunt HH, Von Koch C, Lo ACY, and Thinakaran G: Studies of APP biology: analysis of APP secretion and characterization of an APP homologue, APLP2. In: Research and Perspectives in Alzheimer’s Disease. Amyloid Precursor Protein in Development, Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. CL Master, K Beyreuther, M Tirllet and Y Christen (eds), Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 1994, pp. 121-133.

Funding sources (as Principal Investigator/Applicant)
1.    Research Grants Council General Research Fund 2020-2022 (HK$ 1,074,019)
Retinal neurodegeneration and retinal ischemia in diabetic retinopathy – association with autophagy dysfunction
2.    Health and Medical Research Fund 2019-2022 (HK$ 1,074,019)
Terminable cell-encapsulating collagen-alginate composite device for sustained intraocular drug delivery as a therapy for retinal degenerative diseases
3.    Health and Medical Research Fund 2018-2021 (HK$ 1,197,580)
Beneficial effects of lutein in maternal diabetes-related retinopathy of prematurity using the diabetic Ins2Akita mouse model
4.    Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2018-2019 (HK$ 90,000)
Vascular pathophysiology and neuronal dysfunction in gestational diabetes-associated retinopathy of prematurity
5.    Wing Tat Lee Endowment RFA (Boston University) 2018
Wing Tat Lee Collaborative Program to Rescue Retinal Cells from Apoptosis
6.    Health and Medical Research Fund 2017-2020 (HK$ 895,020)
Lutein and candesartan co-treatment delays the progression of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the diabetic Ins2Akita mouse model  
7.    Wing Tat Lee Endowment RFA (Boston University) 2017
Establishing the Vision Science Research Collaboration between the Departments of Ophthalmology in Boston University School of Medicine and The University of Hong Kong
8.    Health and Medical Research Fund 2016-2019 (HK$ 1,197,160)
Alleviation of early high mortality and aggravated brain pathology by lutein in a genetic type I diabetic mouse model after experimental stroke
9.    Research Grants Council General Research Fund 2014-2016 (HK$ 1,039,239)
Cell-based intraocular delivery of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) by collagen-alginate composite gel as a therapy for retinal degenerative diseases
10.    Research Grants Council General Research Fund 2011-2014 (HK$ 1,150,000)
Neuroprotective effects of lutein in cerebral and retinal ischemia/reperfusion injury: its relation with oxidative stress and post-ischemic inflammation
11.    Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2010-2011 (HK$ 90,000)
Oxidative stress, neuronal dysfunction and neovascularization in retinopathy of prematurity
12.    Research Grants Council General Research Fund 1997-2000 (HK$ 1,211,360)
Targeted over-expression of endothelin-1 in astrocytes as a transgenic model to investigate its role in brain injury and blood-brain barrier function

Press reporting/Knowledge Exchange
Mar 20, 2016 - Brain Awareness Week 2016
Mar 3, 2016 - Rotary Club of Peninsula South “An Unofficial Guide to Nobel Prize”
Nov 18, 2012 - RTHK TV series 做個健康快㓉人
Jan 19, 2012 - Rotary Club of Peninsula South 枸杞子與眼睛保健 - 是真是假?
Oct 23, 2011 - 蘋果日報 - 枸杞子點止補眼咁簡單!日食 20粒 護血管減中風損害
Feb 6, 2009 – RTHK精靈一點 “Nutrition – Fact or fiction”
Dec 2, 2007 – Retina HK ┌眼睛頑疾有得醫┘周年硏討會主講嘉賓