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Sophie Deng, M.D., Ph.D.
Sophie Deng, M.D., Ph.D.

Specialty:

Ophthalmology

General Information:

Gender:
Female
Language(s):
English

Affiliation(s):

Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute
Member, JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area

Hospital Affiliation(s):

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Education:

Fellowship:
Ophthalmology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2005 - 2006
Residency:
Ophthalmology, University of Illinois at Chicago Eye Center, 2002 - 2005
Internship:
Internal Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 2001 - 2002
Medical Degree:
M.D., Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2001

Certification(s):

Board Certification(s):
Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, 2006

Contact Information:

Phone:
(310) 206-7202
Email:
Website:

Practice Information:

Clinical Interest(s):
Cataract
Cornea
Herpes
Keratoconus
Laser
Pterygium
Refractive Surgery

Scientific Interest(s):

Dr. Sophie Deng’s research focuses on improving the current treatment for patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. To achieve this goal, her laboratory takes two different approaches. The first approach is to study the microenvironment/niche of the limbal stem cells to elucidate those factors that govern the fate of limbal stem cells. Unique gene expression in the limbus using an oligonucleotide microarray technique has revealed potential molecular components of the limbal stem cell niche. The functions of the genes in the corneal epithelial cells are being investigated in human limbal epithelial cell cultures. A transgenic mouse model is being used to study the homeostasis of the corneal epithelial cells in normal and wound healing condition. Also under investigation is the role of Wnt signaling in the differentiation and proliferation of limbal stem cells. The condition of ex vivo expansion of limbal stem cells will be optimized by modulating those factors that regulate the differentiation and proliferation of limbal stem cells. The second approach is to achieve patient specific therapy by regenerating autologuous limbal stem cells from various types of pluripotent stem cells through ex vivo transdifferentiation. Multiple types of pluripotent stem cells will be tested for their ability to transdifferentiate into corneal epithelial cells.