Hu Huang, Ph.D., is currently a research associate at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He completed his post-doctoral training with Dr. Robert Anderson at Oklahoma University and Dr. Ruben Adler at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Huang’s main research focus is on blinding retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinopathy of prematurity. His research goals are to decipher the biological pathways that underlie these eye diseases and discover target molecules that have therapeutic potential to treat the blinding eye diseases. Currently, Dr. Huang is conducting two research projects:
- Role of placental growth factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Huang developed a genetic model of diabetes: Akita.PlGF-/- diabetic mouse. With this novel mouse strain, he found that placental growth factor acts as a switch that controls the balance between protection and injury in diabetic retina. He is elucidating the mechanisms that placental growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (the only known receptor for placental growth factor) signaling is involved in the pathology of diabetic retinopathy.
- Role of cytokine/chemokine signaling in pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. By using laser capture microdissection-isolated choroidal neovascularization, Dr. Huang discovered several new cytokine/chemokine genes relevant to age-related macular degeneration. The aged mice with genetic mutation of these genes develop characteristics similar to age-related macular degeneration in humans. He is characterizing whether these mouse models are robust models of age-related macular degeneration and elucidating the biological mechanisms of cytokine/chemokine-receptor signaling in the pathology of age-related macular degeneration.