Eric Yin Shan Ng, PhD

Eric Ng, PhD, currently is an assistant scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.  During his PhD training with Patricia D’Amore, PhD, at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, Eric began his study on the complex biology of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in both normal development and in diseases. The current research aim for the Ng laboratory is to develop a program of biomedical research that will help refine our current use of anti-VEGF therapeutics and define new targets for developing the next generation of pharmacotherapies. Current research projects in the Ng lab include investigating the neuroprotective function of VEGF in various retinopathies and in glaucoma; identifying novel targets for anti-angiogenesis and anti-inflammation in neovascular AMD, diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity; and, characterizing a novel anti-inflammatory strategy for ocular disease.  In addition to this research grant from the BrightFocus Foundation, the Ng’s lab is supported by funding from the Curing Kids Fund and the Grimshaw Foundation.  Previous research supports for Dr. Ng include the Medical Research Council project grant, UCL Impact Studentship, and Diabetes UK research grant.

"When I was a child, I was ill and often visited the doctor. It was during this time that I became fascinated by how drugs, these small white pills, could make me feel better so quickly.   My interest in drug research grew during graduate school as I learned more about how drugs work. I was particularly excited by the new class of molecular therapeutics being developed, which had been based on disease mechanism research and rational drug design.  Because I had studied the biology of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), I had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the first anti-VEGF therapeutic agent for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals soon after my graduate school training.  Being able to witness how this drug was helping patients with blinding eye diseases and, at the same time, applying my knowledge of basic biomedical research for drug discovery and development, validated my passion for translational vision research.

My personal goal is to continue my study of basic disease mechanisms for AMD and other blinding ocular diseases, and to develop new and better therapeutic approaches. This current project, in which we hope to validating toll-like receptors as a novel target for treating wet AMD, is indeed part of a program of research that I hope to develop to improve on current anti-VEGF therapies.  Only with the generous support of the BrightFocus Foundation are we able to continue this worthy project. I strongly believe that our findings will contribute directly and/or indirectly to development of the next generation of therapy for wet AMD."