External Resources:

Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Opthalmology, Shiley Eye Center
Retina Specialist and Human Genetics

Websites: http://shileyeye.ucsd.edu/faculty/kang-zhang, http://zhanglab.ucsd.edu/
Email: k5zhang@ucsd.edu

Pathways/processes: Structural and functional variants in human genome; stem cell programming for eye therapy using small molecules
Teams/collaborations: Bioengineering, CMM, SIO, Seq. Core, other IGM investigators: Kun Zhang, Terry Gaasterland, Bing Ren, Xiang-Dong Fu, Trey Ideker
Approaches: High-throughput sequencing, stem cells, animal models for human diseases
Diseases: Macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy


The retina is a sheet of light-sensing cells that convert complex external visual stimuli to electrical and chemical signals. The signals generated by the retina are then transmitted to the brain to form visual images. Collectively, retinal degeneration is the most common cause of irreversible visual loss in the developed world.

The overall goal of our research program is to discover novel genes and gain insights into molecular mechanisms of retinal degeneration including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and a host of other diseases.