Cai photo.tif2

Jiyang Cai Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Physiology

Current Special Research Interest:

  • Mechanisms of inflammation and immune responses in the posterior eye
  • Intercellular communications mediated by exosome and non-coding RNA

Research Summary:

The back of the eye has immune privilege and under physiological conditions is protected from overt inflammation and autoimmune responses. With aging and age-related degeneration of the outer retina and the retinal pigment epithelium, the initial lesions recruit and active cells from the innate and adapted immune systems. Their interactions determine the outcome as either inflammation resolution or exacerbated tissue injury. Our lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell-cell interaction and cytokine-mediated signaling network during these processes.

Relevant Publications:

  • Zhao Z, Liang Y, Long B, Xu P, Flamme-Wiese JF, Sun D, Sun J, Liu Y, Mullins RF, Chen Y and Cai J. 2017. Choroidal  T cells in protection against RPE and retinal injury. FASEB J. 2017;31:4903-4916
  • Zhao Z, Yang M, Azar SR, Soong L, Weaver SC, Sun J, Chen Y, Rossi SL and Cai J. 2017. Viral retinopathy in experimental models of Zika infection. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017;58:4355-4365
  • Yu B, Egbejimi A, Dharmat R, Xu P, Zhao Z, Long B, Niao H, Chen R, Wensel TG, Cai J and Chen Y. Photoreceptor outer segments as physiological activator of mTOR in the retinal pigment epithelium. Science Signaling. 2018;11:eaag3315

Complete list of published work in My Bibliography:

Current Funding Information

R01 NEI/NIH EY028773

“Choroidal T cells as novel regulators of RPE degeneration”

(PI: Cai; 04/2017-03/2021)


Office telephone: (405) 271-2226, ext. 31896