Picture of LEUNG

YUK FAI LEUNG

Associate Professor
LILY 2-236
Phone: 765-496-3153

Personal Site: Link

Disease-causing gene network and novel therapies for retinal degeneration

Retinal degeneration is a group of inherited eye diseases including retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that impair our vision. Although much has been learned about the molecular basis of these diseases, they are still incurable. To expedite discovery of new drugs for these diseases, our group at Purdue University studies zebrafish retinal-degeneration models.

We are currently focused in two research directions:

1. Disease-causing gene network for retinal degeneration

2. Drug discovery for retinal degeneration

Please visit our lab website for further information.

Present appointments

Aug 2014–present      Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
May 2013–present      Affiliate Faculty Member, Purdue Center for Drug Discovery, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
March 2012–present    Visiting Professor, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China
March 2012–present    Scientific Advisor to Post-graduate Research, Joint Shantou International Eye Center of Shantou University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shantou, China
May 2011–present      Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine—West Lafayette, West Lafayette, IN, USA
2010–present            Affiliate Faculty Member, Purdue Oncological Sciences Center, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Previous appointments

Jan 2008–Aug 2014     Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Education

Ph.D., Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2002
M.Phil., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, 1998
B.Sc., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong 1996

Awards

2015    Favorite Faculty Award, Purdue University            
2014    J. Alfred and Martha Chiscon Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University
2014    Best Lecturer Award, selected by the first year medical students at the Indiana University School of Medicine—Lafayette
2011 International Travel Grant Award, Purdue Research Foundation
2009-2010 Hope for Vision Award
2009-2010, 2010-2011 Showalter Research Trust Award

Other Activities

External reviewer for the following research grants:

2015    Indiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund
2014    The Biotechnology Research Grant, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NC, USA
2011    Bank of America Jeffress Research Grant, Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, USA
2009    Research Grant, Medical Research Council, United Kingdom
2007    University Research Fund, Research Council, University of Leuven, Belgium

Professional service—Editor:

2015–present     Review Editor, Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (a specialty section of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, and Genetics)
2012–present     Scientist Advisory Board Member, The National High School Journal of Science
2012–present     Editorial Board Member, PLOS ONE

Ad hoc reviewer for the following journals:

Bioinformatics, BMC Bioinformatics, BMC Developmental Biology, BMC Genomics, Briefings in Bioinformatics, CNS & Neurological Disorders—Drug Targets, Development, Developmental Biology, Expert Opinion for Drug Discovery, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, Gene Expression Patterns, Genetics, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Journal of Anatomy, Journal of VLSI Signal Processing, Journal of Real Time Imaging, Molecular Biotechnology, Molecular Vision, Neurobiology of Disease, Physiological Genomics, PLOS Genetics, PLOS ONE, Protein & Cell, Scientific Report, Thrombosis Research.

Invited Lectures (2014–2015; total since 2008:49):

26 September 2014    "Discover new eye drugs by zebrafish visual-behaviour assay", Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University
6 May 2014    JSIEC Lecture Dinner Meeting, The ARVO Annual Meeting: Leading Eye and Vision Research, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Orlando, FL, USA
6 February 2014    “Disease-causing gene network and novel therapies for retinal degeneration”, Purdue Pre-optometry Club, Purdue University
13 January 2014    “Disease-causing gene network and novel drug therapies for retinal degeneration”, Center for Human Molecular Biology & Genetics, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, China
11 January 2014    “Disease-causing gene network and novel drug therapies for retinal degeneration”, JSIEC International Research Meeting, Joint Shantou International Eye Center of Shantou University and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shantou, China

Teaching:

2015  BIOL69600 Graduate Seminar Course—Genome Editing: Applications, Opportunities, and Societal Impacts
2009–Present  BIOL 36700 & 36701—Principles of Developmental Biology (Lecture and Lab)
2009–Present  LCME 504—Molecular Cell Biology for Indiana University School of Medicine—West Lafayette

Educational and outreach activities:

2015-03-18 Organizer, Zebrafish Research Session for the visit of students from Jefferson high school in Lafayette     
2014-01-09 Organizer and Lecturer, “Workshop on Genome Editing Tools for Medicine”, Joint Shantou International Eye Center of Shantou University and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shantou, China
2014-01-08 Organizer and Lecturer, “Workshop on Genome Editing Tools for Medicine”, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2013-03-13 “Studying traditional Chinese medicine for good vision with zebrafish”, Ho Yu College, Hong Kong
2012-08-07 Organizer and Lecturer, “Workshop on Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization”, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2012-08-06–07 Organizer and Lecturer, “Journal clubs on human genetics and retinal development”, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2012-08-03 Organizer and Lecturer, “Workshop on Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization”, Joint Shantou International Eye Center of Shantou University and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shantou, China
2011-12-14–15 Organizer and Lecturer, Frontiers in human genetics and eye research workshop, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2011-06  Guest Lecturer, OVSC 5580: Genetic Eye Disease, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2010–Present    Facilitator & Lecturer, USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) National Finals, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Professional Faculty Research

(Development and Disease) Disease-causing gene network and novel therapies for retinal degeneration

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