Ya-Ju Chang, PhD
Ya-Ju Chang is a postdoc research scientist of Tsang lab, a team located in Columbia University eye institute. The team is also known worldwide for treated preclinical genetic models (Pde6a, Pde6b, Mfrp, Rho, and Cngb1) and autosomal recessive bestrophin retinopathies. Since joining a national and international research team, she has captured the attention of finding the new preclinical genetic models in AMD. She has a strong interest in participating in retinal disease projects and developing specific disease models relevant to screen possible therapeutic drugs. Then she received an opportunity to train under Dr. Tsang's supervision at Columbia University this year (October 2017 – Present). Under Dr. Tsang's supervision, she will quickly develop her perspective in retinal degenerative disease and effective medical therapy. She has proven herself to be a compassionate and attentive scientist; she has gained immeasurable knowledge and has developed skills essential to studies involving human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and develops the new therapeutic platform since she joined Dr. Tsang's lab. This generation of CRISPR-edited RPE from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iRPE) marks a major milestone towards developing cell transplantation-based therapies potential to treat a devastating retinal condition such as AMD.