The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Department of Ophthalmology
The Department of Ophthalmology

Faculty Biography


Xinping C. Zhao, Ph.D.


Clinical and Research Interests:

  1. The overall objective of our laboratory is to study biology, development, and diseases of the anterior segment of the eye, including the cornea, lens, iris, cillary body, and anterior angle. There are a number of human disorders involving this complex structure of the eye such as corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, and anterior segment dysgeneses. The ultimate goal is to develop novel and more precise diagnostics, identify better pharmaceutical drugs, and design more effective treatments and preventions to the human anterior segment diseases. We are currently working on two closely-related research projects. First, we use molecular genetics approaches to clone and functionally study human corneal dystrophy (click here for more details) genes and perform genetic testing of several selected genes that are causative to corneal dystrophies. In the second project, we use zebrafish (click here for more details) to study anterior segment development, genetics, and diseases.

Publications (selected):

  1. Yoshikawa S, Norcorm E, Yee RW, Zhao XC: (2006). Transgenic analysis of the cornea-specific enhancer of the zebrafish gelsolin-like 1 (gsnl1) gene. (submitted to Developmental Dynamics).
  2. Zhao XC, Yee RW, Norcom E, Burgess H, Andrei S. Avanesov AS, Barrish JP, Malicki J: (2006). The Zebrafish cornea: structure and development. Invest. Opht. & Vis. Sci. 47(10):4341-8.
  3. Rainier S, Thomas D, Tokarz D, Ming L, Bui M, Plein E, Zhao X, Lemons R, Albin R, Delaney C, Alvarado D, Fink JK. (2004) Myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 gene mutations cause paroxysmal dystonic choreoathetosis. Arch Neurol. 61(7):1025-9.
  4. Sullivan LS, Zhao X, Bowne SJ, Xu X, Daiger SP, Yee SB, Yee RW: (2003) Exclusion of the human collagen type XVII (COL17A1) gene as the cause of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy (CDB2) on chromosome 10q23-q25. Curr Eye Res. 27(4):223-6.
  5. Hedera P, Rainier S, Zhao X, Schalling M, Lindblad K, Yuan Q-P, Ikeuchi T, Trobe J, Wald JJ, Eldevik OP, Kluin K, Fink JK.: (2002) Spastic paraplegia, ataxia, mental retardation (SPAR): a novel genetic disorder. Neurology, 58:411-416.
  6. Elder JT, Zhao X: (2002) Differential regulation of clustered epidermal differentiation complex genes by agents that alter chromatin structure. Experimental Dermatology 11(5):406-12.
  7. Zhao X, Alvarado, D, Rainier S, Lemons R, Hedera P, Weber C, Tukel T, Apakl M, Heiman-Patterson T, Ming L, Bui M, Fink JK: (2001) Mutations in a novel GTPase cause autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia. Nature Genetics, 29:326-331.
  8. Hedera P, Rainier S, Alvarado D, Zhao X, Williamson J, Otterud B, Leppert M, Fink, JK: (1999) Novel locus for autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia on chromosome 8q. Am J Hum Genet, 64:563-569.
  9. Stoll SW, Zhao XP, Elder JT: (1998) EGF receptor activation stimulates transcription of CaN19 (S100A2) in human keratinocytes. J Invest. Dermatol, 111:1092-1097.
  10. Zhao XP, Elder JT: (1997) Positional cloning of novel skin-specific genes from the human epidermal differentiation complex. Genomics, 45:250-258.


Faculty Biography

Xinping C. Zhao, Ph.D.
  • Xinping C. Zhao, Ph.D.
  • Department of Ophthalmology
  • University of Texas-Houston Medical School
    6431 Fannin Street, MSB 7.024
    Houston, Texas 77030
  • Office: (713) 500-5987
    Laboratory: (713) 500-5989
    Laboratory: (713) 500-6027
    fax: (713) 500-0684
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