Lin Gan, Ph.D.

Lin Gan, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 659
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 273-1510
Lab: (585) 273-1513
Fax: (585) 276-2432

Research Bio

The mammalian retina and inner ear are two of the most common places of genetic diseases that cause blindness and deafness due to the degeneration of retinal and inner ear neurons. In order to understand the disease processes, it is very crucial to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms regulating the normal development and maintenance of these neurons at the molecular level. My research is centered on identifying genes required for neuron differentiation and survival, investigating the genetic pathways involved in these processes, and developing therapies for blindness and deafness via gene therapy and stem cell replacement.

I am currently investigating the roles of three classes of transcription factors (TFs), the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), POU-homeodomain (POU-HD), and LIM-domain TFs, in the formation and maintenance of mouse retina and inner ear. Using homologous recombination in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to mutate these TF genes, I have shown that these TFs function in a cascade to regulate the differentiation of neuronal progenitor cells into specific types of neurons and to regulate the maturation and survival of post-differentiation neurons.

Awards & Honors (National)

Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award | Research to Prevent Blindness 2011 - 2011
Rosanne H. Silbermann Fellow | Silbermann Foundation 1999 - 2003
CUSBEA (China-United States Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examination and Administration) Program Scholarship | Ministry of Education | China 1985

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 94 available »

2016 Jun 27
Ding Q, Balasubramanian R, Zheng D, Liang G, Gan L. "Barhl2 Determines the Early Patterning of the Diencephalon by Regulating Shh." Molecular neurobiology. 2016 Jun 27; Epub 2016 Jun 27.
2016 May
Yao Y, Minor PJ, Zhao YT, Jeong Y, Pani AM, King AN, Symmons O, Gan L, Cardoso WV, Spitz F, Lowe CJ, Epstein DJ. "Cis-regulatory architecture of a brain signaling center predates the origin of chordates." Nature genetics. 2016 May; 48(5):575-80. Epub 2016 Apr 11.
2016 Apr 20
Xu J, Wu XS, Sheng J, Zhang Z, Yue HY, Sun L, Sgobio C, Lin X, Peng S, Jin Y, Gan L, Cai H, Wu LG. "?-Synuclein Mutation Inhibits Endocytosis at Mammalian Central Nerve Terminals." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2016 Apr 20; 36(16):4408-14.
2016 Mar 25
Huang H, Yang X, Bao M, Cao H, Miao X, Zhang X, Gan L, Qiu M, Zhang Z. "Ablation of the Sox11 Gene Results in Clefting of the Secondary Palate Resembling the Pierre Robin Sequence." The Journal of biological chemistry. 2016 Mar 25; 291(13):7107-18. Epub 2016 Jan 29.
Li, L., Cao, Y., Wu, H., Ye, X., Zhu, Z., Xing, G., Shen, C., Barik, A., Zhang, B., Xie, X., Zhi, W., Gan, L., Su, H., Xiong, WC., and Mei, L. "Enzymatic Activity of the Scaffold Protein Rapsyn for Synapse Formation." Neuron. 2016; . Link

Current Appointments

Dean's Professorship - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)
Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)


PhD | Biochemistry, All Other | U Tex-Houstn Grad Sch Biomd Sc1992
BS | Biochemistry, All Other | China - Non-Medical School1985

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellow (with William Klein, Ph.D.), Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 1994