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Xiuqian Mu, MD, PhD - Vision Research Center

Xiuqian Mu, MD, PhD

Vision Research Center

Center of Excellence
Room B4-319
701 Ellicott St.
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-881-7463
Email: xmu@buffalo.edu

Title and Department:
Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Education and Training:
M.D. Qingdao Medical College, Qingdao, Shandong, China
Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Peking Union Medical College; Beijing, China

Postdoctoral (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology):
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interest:

Dr. Xiuqian Mu, M.D., Ph.D. is interested in how global gene expression advances from one state to the next in time and space during development to promote the specification and differentiation of individual retinal cell types from multi-potent neural progenitor cells. We focus on the gene regulatory network (GRN) involved in the formation of one retinal cell type, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RGCs are the only projection neurons in the retina and connect the retina to the brain through the optic nerve. Death of RGCs is cause of vision loss in glaucoma and other retinal diseases.

Several key transcription factors (TFs) functioning at different stages of RGC development have been identified. Math5 is essential for RGC fate specification, whereas Pou4f2 and Isl1 are required for their differentiation. Our previous study has established a tentative model for the RGC GRN, in which these TFs occupy key node positions.

Current projects in the lab are aimed at further understanding how these transcription factors specifically regulate their target genes and how they interact with each other. Considerable efforts are also placed on identifying novel key regulators in the GRN. Our studies employ a combined approach of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. Our eventual goal is to use the knowledge learned from our studies to develop new therapies for various retinal diseases.

We at the Ross Eye Institute have been saddened by recent events surrounding race and inequality, but buoyed by the opportunity for lasting change. As healthcare providers, we are in a unique position to lead by example, and to further the goals of diversity and inclusion among our patients, students, and staff. We recognize there are systemic impediments to equal care for all, but we continue to be committed to the provision of excellent healthcare to all patients regardless of race or insurance status. We are proud of our efforts to provide equal access to eye care for all.

Today we renew our commitment to the Buffalo and the Western New York community, and we will continue to treat everyone as equals.​