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Lin Gan, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-1510

Fax: (585) 276-2432

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



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.



BS | China - Non-Medical School
Biochemistry, All Other

PhD | U Tex-Houstn Grad Sch Biomd Sc
Biochemistry, All Other

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

1992 - 1994
Postdoctoral Fellow (with William Klein, Ph.D.), Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center


2011 - 2011
Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award
Sponsor: Research to Prevent Blindness

1999 - 2003
Rosanne H. Silbermann Fellow
Sponsor: Silbermann Foundation

CUSBEA (China-United States Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examination and Administration) Program Scholarship
Sponsor: Ministry of Education
Location: China

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Journal Articles

Ding Q, Balasubramanian R, Zheng D, Liang G, Gan L. "Barhl2 Determines the Early Patterning of the Diencephalon by Regulating Shh." Molecular neurobiology.. 2017 Aug 0; 54(6):4414-4420. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

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 0; 48(5):575-80. Epub 2016 Apr 11.

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.