Title: Faculty & research interests





Stephen H Tsang, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Full Member

Department: Ophthalmology
Pathology and Cell Biology

160 Fort Washington Avenue, Rm 513

Personal Website

Disease Models: Retinal Diseases, Transplantation

Stem Cell Categories: ES and other embryonic stem cells, iPS cells

Model Organisms: Human, Rodent

Themes: Neurodegeneration

Death of photoreceptor neurons in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) causes the loss of activities of daily living. AMD affects about 9 million Americans and its incidence is expected to double by 2020. Worldwide, about 36,000 cases of RP are caused by mutations in the genes encoding the cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE6αβγ2) complex. In mouse models of RP caused by perturbations of phosphodiesterase function (Pde6brd1 Pde6bH620Q, and Pde6gtm1), diminished or extinguished PDE6 activity causes retinal pathology similar to that in humans. Studies in my laboratory are tackling the problem of photoreceptor cell degeneration by pursuing investigations in three areas, two of which include murine models: We are probing the role of PDE6 signaling in retinal degeneration; we are striving to develop stem cell-based therapies for retinal degeneration; and we are correlating the genotypes of various human photoreceptor cell degenerations with the phenotypes revealed in fundus autofluorescence (AF) images. In our New York State supported stem cell program (N09G-302), we are examining embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to model and replace diseased human retinal cells in AMD and RP.


Wang NK, Tosi J, Kasanuki JM, Chou CL, Kong J, Parmalee N, Wert KJ, Allikmets R, Lai CC, Chien CL, Nagasaki T, Lin CS, Tsang SH.
Transplantation of reprogrammed embryonic stem cells improves visual function in a mouse model for retinitis pigmentosa. Transplantation. 911-19:89(8). (2010)

Braunstein, A.L., Trief, D., Wang, N., Chang, S., and Tsang, S.H.
Vitamin A deficiency in New York City. Lancet 376(9737):267. (2010)

Davis RJ, Tosi J, Janisch KM, Kasanuki JM, Wang NK, Kong J, Tsui I, Cilluffo M, Woodruff ML, Fain GL, Lin CS, Tsang SH.
Functional rescue of degenerating photoreceptors in mice homozygous for a hypomorphic cGMP phosphodiesterase 6 b allele (Pde6bH620Q). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 49(11):5067-76. (2008)

Tsang SH, Woodruff ML, Jun L, Mahajan V, Yamashita CK, Pedersen R, Lin CS, Goff SP, Rosenberg T, Larsen M, Farber DB, Nusinowitz S.
Transgenic mice carrying the H258N mutation in the gene encoding the beta-subunit of phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6B) provide a model for human congenital stationary night blindness. Hum Mutat. 28(3):243-54. (2007)

Tsang SH, Woodruff ML, Chen CK, Yamashita CY, Cilluffo MC, Rao AL, Farber DB, Fain GL.
GAP-independent termination of photoreceptor light response by excess gamma subunit of the cGMP-phosphodiesterase. J Neurosci. 26(17):4472-80. (2006)

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