Qi N. Cui, MD, PhD

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Ophthalmology

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
Stellar-Chance Laboratories
Room 305A, 422 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BS (Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology)
University of Arizona, 2002.
PhD (Neurobiology and Anatomy)
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry , 2009.
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry , 2011.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
The Cui lab seeks to understand pathogenesis and identify effective treatments for glaucoma.

ophthalmology; glaucoma; neuroinflammation; neuroprotection; macrophage; microglia; monocytes; oxidative stress; retinal ganglion cells; optic nerve; intraocular pressure; GLP-1 receptor agonists; iron chelation

Research Description:
Glaucoma is characterized by retinal ganglion cell loss and optic nerve degeneration resulting in insidious vision loss. It is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Elevated intraocular pressure is a well-known risk factor, and intraocular pressure reduction is the predominant therapy for slowing disease progression. Because glaucoma can continue to progress in many patients despite intraocular pressure normalization, new therapies targeting pathogenic mechanisms other than intraocular pressure are needed to prevent vision loss.

The Cui lab seeks to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms contributing to glaucoma and identify innovative therapies for this debilitating eye disease. My lab is actively evaluating GLP-1 receptors agonists, a class of diabetic and weight loss medication, as neuroprotective agents in glaucoma (Sterling et al. Cell Reports. 2020; Sterling et al. Br J Ophthalmol. 2021). In collaboration with the lab of Joshua Dunaief, we showed iron chelation is effective for rescuing retinal ganglion cells and promoting optic nerve axon survival in an animal model of glaucoma.

Additional information can be found at the lab website:

Twitter: @CuiLab

Selected Publications

Lawrence ECN, Guo M, Schwartz TD, Wu J, Lu J, Nikonov S, Sterling JK, Cui QN.: Topical and systemic GLP-1R agonist administration both rescue retinal ganglion cells in hypertensive glaucoma. Front Cell Neurosci 17: 1156829, Jun 2023.

Cui QN, Stein LM, Fortin SM, Hayes MR: The role of glia in the physiology and pharmacology of glucagon-like peptide-1: implications for obesity, diabetes, neurodegeneration and glaucoma. Br J Pharmacol 179(4): 715-726, Feb 2022.

Sterling J, Hua P, Dunaief JL, Cui QN, VanderBeek BL. : Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist use is associated with reduced risk for glaucoma. Br J Ophthalmol Aug 2021 Notes: QNC and BLV are co-senior author.

Cui QN, Hays RD, Tarver ME, Spaeth GL, Paz SH, Weidmer B, Fellman RL, Vold SD, Eydelman M, Singh K.: Vision-Targeted Health-Related Quality-of-Life Survey for Evaluating Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery. Am J Ophthalmol 229: 145-151, Apr 2021.

Sterling JK, Adetunji MO, Guttha S, Bargoud AR, Uyhazi KE, Ross AG, Dunaief JL, Cui QN.: GLP-1 Receptor Agonist NLY01 Reduces Retinal Inflammation and Neuron Death Secondary to Ocular Hypertension. Cell Rep 33: 108271, Nov 2020.

Guo M, Schwartz TD, Dunaief JL, Cui QN: Myeloid cells in retinal and brain degeneration. FEBS J 289(8): 2337-2361, Sep 2021.

Cui QN, Bargoud AR, Ross AG, Song Y, Dunaief JL: Oral administration of the iron chelator deferiprone protects against loss of retinal ganglion cells in a mouse model of glaucoma. Experimental eye research 193: 107961, Feb 2020.

Li T, Le JT, Hays RD, Cui QN, Eydelman M, Spaeth G, Tarver ME, Singh K: Patient-reported outcomes measures and patient preferences for minimally invasive glaucoma surgical devices. Eye (London, England) 34(1): 205-210, Jan 2020.

Cui QN, Gray IN, Yu Y, VanderBeek BL: Repeated intravitreal injections of antivascular endothelial growth factors and risk of intraocular pressure medication use. Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie 257(9): 1931-1939, Sep 2019.

Cui QN, Hsia YC, Lin SC, Stamper RL, Rose-Nussbaumer J, Mehta N, Porco TC, Naseri A, Han Y: Effect of mitomycin c and 5-flurouracil adjuvant therapy on the outcomes of Ahmed glaucoma valve implantation. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology 45(2): 128-134, Mar 2017.

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Last updated: 07/05/2024
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