Qi N. Cui, MD, PhD

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Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Ophthalmology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
Stellar-Chance Laboratories
422 Curie Blvd. Room 312/213
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 Clinical Expertise

Dr. Cui specializes in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. She cares for patients at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and at the Scheie Eye Institute. She performs surgeries to treat both cataract and glaucoma, including minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). Dr. Cui’s clinical research interest includes assessing health-related quality of life in glaucoma patients who are candidate for MIGS.

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
Understanding glaucoma pathogenesis and identifying effective treatments for a blinding disease.

ophthalmology; glaucoma; neuroprotection; neurodegeneration; GLP-1 receptor agonists; iron chelation; mitochondria; retinal ganglion cells; optic nerve; intraocular pressure

Research Description:
Glaucoma is characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells leading to permanent vision loss. It is the global leading cause of irreversible blindness and is projected to affect 112 million people worldwide by 2040. Elevated intraocular pressure is a well-known risk factor for disease onset and progression, and intraocular pressure reduction is the only therapeutic mechanism available to slow disease progression. However, glaucoma can continue to progress in a significant number of patients despite intraocular pressure normalization. Therefore, new therapies are urgently needed to prevent vision loss in patients suffering from glaucoma. My lab seeks to 1) elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms contributing to glaucoma, and 2) identify new and innovative therapies for glaucoma. My lab is actively evaluating GLP-1 receptors agonists as neuroprotective agents in glaucoma (Sterling et al. Cell Reports. 2020). In collaboration with the lab of Joshua Dunaief, we also demonstrated that iron chelation rescues retinal ganglion cells and promotes optic nerve axon survival following intraocular pressure elevation. In addition,we are characterizing a mouse with inherited deficits affecting the mitochondrial electron transport chain resulting in retinal ganglion cell loss as a model for normal tension glaucoma.

Selected Publications

Sterling JK, Adetunji MO, Guttha S, Bargoud AR, Uyhazi K, Ross AG, Dunaief JL, Cui QN: GLP-1 Receptor Agonist NLY01 Reduces Retinal Inflammation and Neuron Death Secondary to Ocular Hypertension. Cell Reports 33(5): 108271, Nov 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108271.

Cui Qi N, Bargoud Albert R, Ross Ahmara G, Song Ying, Dunaief Joshua L: 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.

Cui Qi N, Gray Iga N, Yu Yinxi, VanderBeek Brian L: 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.

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 Qi N, Ramakrishnan Meera S, Gudiseva Harini V, Collins David W, Pistilli Maxwell, Lee Roy, Chavali Venkata M, Lehman Amanda, Addis Victoria M, O'Brien Joan M: Mitochondrial haplogroup L1c2 is associated with increased disease severity in African American patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Journal of clinical & experimental ophthalmology 10(2), 2019.

Cui Qi N, Hsia Yen C, Lin Shan C, Stamper Robert L, Rose-Nussbaumer Jennifer, Mehta Nitisha, Porco Travis C, Naseri Ayman, Han Ying: 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.

Lee Roland Y, Kasuga Toshimitsu, Cui Qi N, Porco Travis C, Huang Guofu, He Mingguang, Lin Shan C: Association between baseline iris thickness and prophylactic laser peripheral iridotomy outcomes in primary angle-closure suspects. Ophthalmology 121(6): 1194-202, Jun 2014.

Lee Roland Y, Kasuga Toshimitsu, Cui Qi N, Huang Guofu, He Mingguang, Lin Shan C: Association between baseline angle width and induced angle opening following prophylactic laser peripheral iridotomy. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 54(5): 3763-70, May 2013.

Lee Roland Y, Kasuga Toshimitsu, Cui Qi N, Huang Guofu, He Mingguang, Lin Shan C: Comparison of anterior segment morphology following prophylactic laser peripheral iridotomy in Caucasian and Chinese eyes. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology 42(5): 417-26, Jul 2014.

Gudiseva Harini V, Pistilli Maxwell, Salowe Rebecca, Singh Larry N, Collins David W, Cole Brian, He Jie, Merriam Sayaka, Khachataryan Naira, Henderer Jeffrey, Addis Victoria, Cui Qi N, Sankar Prithvi S, Miller-Ellis Eydie, Chavali Venkata R M, Ying Gui-Shuang, Wallace Douglas, O'Brien Joan M: The association of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups with POAG in African Americans. Experimental eye research 181: 85-89, Apr 2019.

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Last updated: 07/16/2021
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