Xian-Jie Yang, Ph.D.

Biography

Xian-Jie Yang is a developmental biologist, who has served on the UCLA School of Medicine faculty since she joined the Department of Ophthalmology in 1996. She is a member of the Molecular Biology Institute, Brain Research Institute, and has become an associate professor in 2003. Dr, Yang obtained her B.S in biology from Beijing Normal University and her Ph.D. from Cornell University in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology after studying transcription regulation. She pursued her postdoctoral training at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School working on vertebrate neural development. Her research centers on development and diseases of the vertebrate retina, in particular growth factor signaling mechanisms during normal neural differentiation and neuronal survival in retinal degeneration. Her laboratory is also developing cellular and molecular therapies for inherited retinal diseases.

Yi-Rong Peng, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Peng received her PhD in neurobiology from the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China in 2011. Her doctoral research examined the role of functional interactions between inhibitory and excitatory synapses that maintain the stability of neural networks. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Sanes at Harvard University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow until 2019. In her postdoctoral work, she leveraged high throughput single-cell transcriptomic methods to uncover key transcriptional factors that control the specification of retinal cell types.

At the Stein Eye Institute she will continue to develop state-of-the-art transcriptomic and genomic tools to uncover the molecular underpinnings of the formation of retinal circuits and the pathogenesis of retinal diseases.