Bo Chen, PhD
img_Bo Chen
PROFESSOR | Ophthalmology
PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
Research Topics
Axonal Growth and Degeneration, Neuro-degeneration/protection, Neuronal Regeneration, Neuroscience
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.

PhD, University of Miami

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School


Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Chen did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2022 and/or 2023: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

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