Dr. Qingxian Lu
The University of Texas
Qingxian Lu received his Bachelor's degree from Shandong University, Master's from Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, and Ph. D.The University of Texas.
His interests are focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms of three closely-related receptor tyrosine kinases, called Tyro3, Axl and Mertk (TAM), in the regulation of phagocytic activity in professional and non-professional phagocytes, particularly in the retinal pigmental epithelium cells in the eye. Phagocytic clearance of the spent photoreceptor distal outer segment (OS) tips by the retinal pigmental epithelium (RPE) cells is essential to maintain photoreceptor homeostasis. Failure of RPE phagocytosis of the OS leads to retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Mutation in the Mertk receptor tyrosine kinase causes photoreceptor degeneration. To understand the molecular role of Mertk in phagocytosis, we have used Mertk mutated RPE cells as a model to identify Mertk downstream target genes or signaling molecules that are involved in regulation of the phagocytic events.