About Dr Weiyong Shen

Dr Weiyong Shen is currently assisting Professor Mark Gillies’ in supervising a number of projects to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Müller glial-neuronal-vascular interactions and exploration of new strategies for neuroprotection as well as inhibition of blood-retinal barrier breakdown in retinal diseases.

Current research interests of Dr Weiyong Shen include Müller glial-vascular-neuronal interactions in retinal disease, endothelial precursor cells for the treatment of advanced diabetic retinopathy, and the role of the Wnt signalling pathway in retinal pathology. He has recently successfully constructed a transgenic mouse in which Müller cells can be specifically targeted using a Cre-Lox system in order to study the role of Müller cell dysfunction in retinal disease. The results of this study have been published in Journal of Neuroscience (Shen W et al. 2012;32:15715–15727). A full time postgraduate scholarship is available in the Macular Research group in 2013. Dr Shen will act as an associate supervisor for the potential PhD candidate. The research project will be related to any aspect of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Müller glial-neuronal-vascular interactions and exploration of approaches for neuroprotection and inhibition of blood-retinal barrier breakdown in the transgenic model.

Dr Weiyong Shen is a fully trained ophthalmologist with eight year experience in Clinical Ophthalmology and 16 year experience in basic eye research. He has successfully translated his career from clinical practice to basic research since moving to Australia in 1995. Dr Shen finished his PhD with a distinction award from the University of Western Australia in 2003. He received an award from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and a Young Investigator Award from Foundation Fighting Blindness USA in 2004. Dr Shen was awarded a Peter Doherty Fellowship in 2005 though this fellowship was later surrendered when he joined a pharmacological company, Bausch and Lomb Inc (NY, USA), where he directed their program in animal modelling of ophthalmic disease. Dr Shen's scientific achievements come from a long-term interest in retinal diseases with more than 50 publications in this field, an H-index factor of 16 and a sum of >1100 citations.

Dr Shen returned to Australia to join the laboratory of Professor Mark Gillies in Sydney in 2007. Dr Shen has successfully collaborated with Professor Mark Gillies to attract a number of competitive research grants in the past five years, including three NHMRC project grants, three research grants from the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA), two grants from Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Grant, two grants from University of Sydney Bridging Grants, one University of Sydney Strategic Research Grant and one grant from the University of Sydney International Development Program Fund. Taken together, Dr Shen has successfully collaborated with Professor Mark Gillies to attract ~$2m research grants during 2008-2012.

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Dr Shen's publications, please visit his Sydney Medical School profile page.