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Jun Yang, PhD, discusses her lab’s research into inherited retinal degenerations.

About Our Lab

The laboratory of Jun Yang, PhD, studies retinal degeneration diseases, mainly caused by photoreceptor cell death and retinal pigment epithelium malfunction. These potentially blinding conditions, including retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, are hereditary and affect millions of people worldwide.

Although many genes have been identified as responsible for these diseases, their physiological functions and pathogenic mechanisms are not clear. Additionally, many causative genes are still unidentified. Currently, no cures for these diseases are available.

Working to Understand Retinal Degenerative Diseases

Dr. Yang’s laboratory research is focused on the disease mechanisms and therapeutic treatments for retinal degenerative diseases using mouse models. Her research group investigates the biological functions of genes whose mutations cause human retinal diseases. Using mouse models for these diseases, the group also studies how to treat these diseases by means of gene therapy.

Dr. Yang’s team is also interested in the cell biology of photoreceptors, especially the cellular processes of intracellular trafficking and structural maintenance. The research led by Dr. Yang is attempting to understand more about retinal degenerative diseases, identify more candidate causative genes, and provide tactics to design various therapies. Dr. Yang’s laboratory uses a combination of experimental approaches including molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.

Research Interests

  • Pathogenetic mechanisms of retinal degeneration
  • Cell biology of photoreceptors


  • NIH Funding FY24: Disease Mechanism of Usher Syndrome 2
  • Other Federal Funding FY23: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Utah Translational Innovation Pilot (TIP) program grant
Jun Yang, PhD
Jun Yang, PhD
Yang Lab research image
Yang Lab research image

Research Publications