Xiaoping Qi, M.Sc., M.D.

Senior Scientist


The goal of my research is to better understand the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and to identify new therapeutic targets.  I have more than 15 years of experience in studying the pathobiology of retinal diseases and have published more than 35 papers.  While it has long been established that pathological angiogenesis is related to much clinical illness, the advancing knowledge of regulatory mechanisms of angiogenesis is critical to provide potential targets for effective treatment of aberrant angiogenic diseases. My expertise is in the area of angiogenic mechanisms and my two most recent publications have demonstrated that a) γ-secretase inhibition of murine choroidal neovascularization is associated with reduction of superoxide and proinflammatory cytokines and b) inhibition of β-secretase results in a retinal phenotype involving both the vasculature and the RPE.  More recently, I have begun working on a project with Drs. Boulton and Grant to reprogram mouse and human HSCs into RPE and look at the effect of their recruitment and integration in an animal model of AMD.

I am also director of the recently established Rodent Vision Function Core which is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with ERG, OCT, laser and optometry systems to help us to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of the major eye diseases. 

 Dr. Qi is part of Dr. Boulton's lab -  see here.


NIH - EY023629-01     
Boulton, Grant (MPI)         
01/07/2013 to 30/06/2018       
“Optimizing systemic stem/progenitor cell therapy for AMD”                              

Successful therapeutic utilization of human or murine HSC requires their programming prior to injection into the systemic circulation, their injection at the time of optimal engraftment potential and preconditioning of the retina by either suppression of resident microglia activation and/or restoring the balance of peripheral pro-inflammatory and homeostatic monocytes.”
Role: Co-Investigator


Publications relating to project selected from over 35 peer-reviewed papers (in chronological order)


  1. Qi X, Lewin AS, Hauswirth, WW, Guy J. Optic neuropathy induced by reductions in mitochondrial  superoxide dismutase. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2003, 44:1088-96.
  2. Qi X , Sun L, Lewin AS, Hauswirth WW, Guy J.  Long-term suppression of neurodegeneration in chronic experimental optic neuritis: antioxidant gene therapy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007, 48:5360-70.
  3. Qi X, Lewin AS, Sun. L, Hauswirth, WW, Guy J.   Suppression of Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress   Provides Long-term Neuroprotection in Experimental Optic Neuritis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.  2007, 48:681-691.
  4. Qi X, Sun. L, Lewin AS, Hauswirth, WW, Guy J.  The Mutant Human ND4 Subunit of Complex I Induces Optic Neuropathy in the Mouse.   Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007, 48:1-10.
  5. Qi X, Hauswirth, WW, Guy J.  Dual gene therapy with extracellular superoxide dismutase and catalase attenuates experimental optic neuritis.  Mol Vis 2007, 13:1-11.  
  6. Cai J, Chen Z, Ruan Q, Han S, Liu L, Qi X, Boye SL, Hauswirth WW, Grant MB, Boulton ME. γ-Secretase and presenilin mediate cleavage and phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1. J Biol Chem. 2011, 286:42514-23.
  7. Kielczewski JL, Li Calzi S, Shaw LC, Cai J, Qi X, Ruan Q, Wu L, Liu L, Hu P, Chan-Ling T, Mames RN, Firth S, Baxter RC, Turowski P, Busik JV, Boulton ME, Grant MB. Free insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) reduces retinal vascular permeability in association with a reduction of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011, 52:8278-86.
  8. Cai J, Wu L, Qi X, Li Calzi S, Caballero S, Shaw L, Ruan Q, Grant MB, Boulton ME. PEDF regulates vascular permeability by a γ-secretase-mediated pathway. PLoS ONE 2011, 6(6):e21164.
  9. Cai J, Wu L, Qi X, Shaw L, Li Calzi S, Caballero S, Jiang WG, Vinores SA, Antonetti D, Ahmed A, Grant MB, Boulton ME. Placenta growth factor-1 exerts time-dependent stabilization of adherens junctions following VEGF-induced vascular permeability. PLoS ONE 2011, 25;6(3):e18076.
  10. Qi X, Cai J, Ruan Q, Liu L, Boye SL, Chen Z, Hauswirth WW, Ryals RC, Shaw L, Caballero S, Grant MB, Boulton ME. γ-Secretase Inhibition of Murine Choroidal Neovascularization is Associated with Reduction of Superoxide and Proinflammatory Cytokines.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011, 53:574-85.
  11. Thampi P, Rao HV, Mitter SK, Cai J, Mao H, Li H, Gibson SS, Qi X, Lewin AS, Romano C, Boulton ME.  The 5HT1a receptor agonist 8-OH DPAT induces protection from lipofuscin accumulation and oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium.   PLoS ONE. 2012, 7(4):e34468.
  12. Mitter SK, Rao HV, Qi X, Cai J, Sugrue A, Dunn WA Jr, Grant MB, Boulton ME. Autophagy in the retina: a potential role in age-related macular degeneration. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012, 723:83-90.
  13. Cai J*, Qi X*, E Alonso1, Ruan Q, L. Serneels, Q Ruan, S Han, L Liu, Z Chen, P Saftig  C.B. Rickman, T Golde, Grant MB, B Strooper, Boulton ME. Inhibition of β-secretase Results in a Retinal Phenotype Involving Both the Vasculature and the RPE. EMBO Mol Med. 2012, 4:980-91.[*equal first author].
  14. Bhatwadekar AD, Yan Y, Qi X, Thinschmidt JS, Neu MB, Li Calzi S, Shaw LC, Dominiguez JM, Busik JV, Lee C, Boulton ME, Grant MB.  (2013)  Per2 mutation recapitulates the vascular phenotype of diabetes in the retina and bone marrow.  Diabetes. 62:273-82.
  15. Liu L*, Qi X*, Chen Z, Shaw L, Cai J, Smith LH, Grant MB, Boulton ME.  (2013)  Targeting the IRE1α/XBP1 and ATF6 arms of the unfolded protein response enhances VEGF blockade to prevent retinal and choroidal neovascularization.  Am J Pathol. 182:1412-24.  [*equal first author]
  16.  Hu Y, Chen Y, Ding L, He X, Takahashi Y, Gao Y, Shen W, Cheng R, Chen Q, Qi X, Boulton ME, Ma JX.  Pathogenic role of diabetes-induced PPAR-α down-regulation in microvascular dysfunction.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 110:15401-6.
  17. Hu P, Herrmann R, Bednar A, Saloupis P, Dwyer MA, Yang P, Qi X, Thomas RS, Jaffe GJ, Boulton ME, McDonnell DP, Malek G.  Aryl hydrocarbon receptor deficiency causes dysregulated cellular matrix metabolism and age-related macular degeneration-like pathology.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 110:E4069-78.
  18. Yan Y, Salazar TE, Dominguez JM 2nd, Nguyen DV, Li Calzi S, Bhatwadekar AD, Qi X, Busik JV, Boulton ME, Grant MB.  Dicer Expression Exhibits a Tissue-Specific Diurnal Pattern That Is Lost during Aging and in Diabetes.  PLoS One. 2013 8:e80029.



  • 1989:  M.Sc. - Dept. of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University-School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  • 1984: M.D. - Dept. of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University-School of Medicine 

Postgraduate Education:

  • 1993-1996:  Post-doctoral Associate - Dept of Ophthalmology, University of Florida
  • 1990-1993:  Post-doctoral Associate - Dept of Anatomy & Cell Biology, University of Florida
  • 1984-1989:  Research Instructor - Dept of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Shanghai Second Medical University
  • 1983-1984:   Medical Internship - Renji  Hospital,  Shanghai, China


Positions and Employment

1990 -1993:  Post-doctoral Associate, Dept of Anatomy & Cell Biology, University of Florida.

1993 -1996:  Post-doctoral Associate, Dept of Ophthalmology, University of Florida.

1996 -2002:  Assistant Scientist, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Florida.

2002 - 2009:  Associate Scientist, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Florida.

2009 - 2013:  Associate Scientist, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Florida.

2013 -            Senior Scientist, Department of Ophthalmology, Glick Eye Institute, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN.



US Patent Issued on March 11, 2008 : Patent No. 7342111.   UF#10011  Entitled: Adeno-Associated Virus-Delivered Ribozyme Compositions and Methods of Use  HB ref. 36689.256


  •      The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  •      Electron Microscopic Society of America

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