Bo Chen, PhD
- PROFESSOR | Ophthalmology
- PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
Research Topics:Axonal Growth and Degeneration, Neuro-degeneration/protection, Neuronal Regeneration, Neuroscience
Dr. Bo Chen is a tenured Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Chen received his PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and later pursued postdoctoral training in the Department of Genetics at Harvard University. He was previously an Assistant and Associate professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Chen received the Karl Kirchgessner Foundation Award for Retinal Research and was a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences from 2013-2017. He is a reviewer for numerous publications including, but not limited, to Science, Neuron, eLife, PNAS, Cell Reports, Science Advances, and Journal of Neuroscience.
Dr. Bo Chen’s research focuses on mechanistic and therapeutic studies of retinal degenerative diseases caused by loss of photoreceptors or retinal ganglion cells, such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma. To study these conditions, his laboratory pursues two main strategies: neuroprotective strategy to save existing retinal neurons and neural regenerative strategy to produce new retinal neurons.
1. Xie Y, Zhou J, Chen B†. “Critical examination of Ptbp1-mediated glia-to-neuron conversion in the mouse retina ”.
Cell Reports. 2022 Jun 14;39(11):110960. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110960.
2. Guo XZ, Zhou J, Starr C, Mohns EJ, Li YD, Chen E, Yoon YJ, Kellner C, Tanaka K, Wang HB, Liu W, Pasquale LR, Demb JB, Crair MC, Chen B†. “Preservation of vision after CaMKII-mediated protection of retinal ganglion cells”.
Cell. 2021 Jul 14;S0092-8674(21)00799-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.06.031.
Research Highlights: “Retinal protection”.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2021; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41583-021-00512-1.
3. Yao K, Qiu S, Wang Y, Park S, Mohns EJ, Mehta B, Liu X, Chang B, Zenisek D, Crair MC, Demb JB, Chen B†. “Restoration of vision after de novo genesis of rod photoreceptors in mammalian retinas.”
Nature. 2018 Aug;560(7719):484-488.
Research Highlights: “Restoring sight with native cell reprogramming”.
Nature Medicine 24, 1303 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-018-0192-6.
4. Yao K, Qiu S, Tian L, Snider WD, Flannery JG, Schaffer DV, Chen B†. “Wnt regulates proliferation and neurogenic potential of Müller glial cells through a Lin28/let-7 miRNA-dependent pathway in adult mammalian retina”.
Cell Reports. 2016 Sep 27;17(1):165-78.
5. Guo XZ, Snider WD, Chen B†. “GSK3β regulates AKT-induced CNS axon regeneration through an eIF2Bε-dependent, mTOR-independent signaling pathway”.
Research Highlights: “Enzymes help to regrow nerves”.
Nature. 2016 April 7:v532.
6. Guo XZ, Wang SB, Xu HP, Ribic A, Mohns EJ, Zhou Y, Zhu XJ, Biederer T, Crair MC, Chen B†. “A Short N-terminal Domain of HDAC4 Preserves Photoreceptors and Restores Visual Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa”.
Nature Communications. 2015 Aug 14;6:8005. doi:10.1038/ncomms9005.
7. Chen B and Cepko CL. “HDAC4 regulates neuronal survival in normal and diseased retinas”.
Science. 2009 Jan 9;323(5911):256-9. PMID 19131628
PhD, University of Miami
Postdoc, Harvard Medical School
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Neuroprotective and Regenerative Studies in the Mammalian Retina
Research in our laboratory focuses on mechanistic and therapeutic studies of retinal degenerative diseases caused by loss of photoreceptors or retinal ganglion cells, such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma. These degenerative conditions affect millions of people in the US leading to vision impairment and blindness. To restore visual function, my laboratory is pursuing two strategies: neuroprotection (to slow down or prevent the death of retinal neurons) and neuroregeneration (to generate new retinal neurons). Our research targets the following 4 main areas: (1) For neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells, the sole output neurons in the retina, we investigate various signaling pathways when ganglion cells and their axons are damaged by diverse injuries from optic nerve crush, excitotoxicity, and elevated intraocular pressure, and whether targeted manipulation of these pathways saves ganglion cells and restores visual function. (2) For neuroregeneration, we examine the regenerative capability of Müller glia (MG), the primary glial cell type in the mammalian retina. The goal is to reprogram MG in vivo to generate MG-derived retinal stem cells that are capable of differentiating to new retinal neurons for vision restoration. (3) We study axon regeneration after CNS injury. Unlike neurons in the peripheral nervous system, CNS axons fail to regenerate after injury. Using optic nerve crush in mice to model adult CNS injury, we investigate the intrinsic cell growth pathways that can be manipulated in order to activate the re-growth of axons from retinal ganglion cells. (4) For neuroprotection of photoreceptors, we investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying photoreceptor degeneration using animal models of retinal degenerative diseases. Our studies focus on signal transduction pathways that promote photoreceptor survival in the presence of genetic and environmental insults.