Hui Sun, Ph.D.

Hui Sun

Professor, Physiology, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Ophthalmology, University of California Los Angeles


CHS 53-140

Work Address:

CHS 53-140A

Dr. Sun's lab has focused on the discovery, mechanistic study and identifying small molecule modulators of novel membrane receptors that play important roles in physiology and diseases. To achieve these goals, several new techniques have been developed by his lab. The first major discovery is the membrane receptor that mediates cellular uptake of vitamin A, a chemical essential for human survival. This receptor is expressed in blood-organ barriers and eluded identification for more than 30 years. Another discovery is the signaling receptor for the most potent endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis. This receptor is highly specifically expressed in pathogenic blood vessels including tumor blood vessels. By developing a novel fluorescence-based technique, his team and collaborators identified potent chemical compounds that target this receptor to specifically kill tumor blood vessels to lead to effective tumor killing in vivo. In the past few years, his lab also developed a novel technique to screen for receptor-activating antibodies and successfully identified antibody drug candidates of this receptor after large-scale screening 10 billion human antibody clones in collaboration with scientists within and outside of UCLA.


Dr. Sun is Professor of Physiology and Ophthalmology in the Department of Physiology and Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is also a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. He came to UCLA in 2003 as an Assistant Professor and received the prestigious Early Career Scientist Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2009. He has taught in a variety of courses related to physiology and human diseases at UCLA Medical School, UCLA Dental School and UCLA Graduate School.

Awards and Honors

  • E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation Award, E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation, 2005-2008.
  • Alicia Showalter Reynolds Research Prize, Johns Hopkins University, 1998.
  • Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award, Ellison Medical Foundation, 2006-2010.
  • Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundation Award, UCLA, 2005.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist Award, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2009-2015.
  • Karl Kirchgessner Foundation Award, Karl Kirchgessner Foundation, 2003.
  • Ruth and Milton Steinbach Award, Ruth and Milton Steinbach Foundation, 2004-2007.
  • Stein-Oppenheimer Endowment Award, UCLA, 2004.