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Research Group of Heping Xu

My group strongly focuses on the immune responses that occur in various retinal disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

Our aim is to uncover specific immune pathways that are involved in different pathological settings and our goal is to use the knowledge for designing rationales for therapy. Our aim will be achieved by employing a number novel in vivo and in vitro techniques.


  • In vivo imaging: fundus photography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, electroretinography
  • Confocal microscopy of ocular flatmounts,
  • Molecular biology: transfection, gene silence, real-time RT_PCR

Scientific Cooperations

  • Cooperation 1
    Professor Andrew D. Dick, Bristol University, UK
  • Cooperation 2
    Professor John V. Forrester, University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Cooperation 3
    Professor Alan Stitt, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Cooperation 4
    Professor Usha Chakravarthy, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Cooperation 5
    Dr David AC Simpson, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Current Research Projects

  • Project 1
    The role of macrophage and complement in age-related macular degeneration
  • Project 2
    Mechanism of inflammation-mediated angiogenesis
  • Project 3
    MicroRNA in retinal aging and age-related macular degeneration
  • Project 4
    Molecular control of angiogenic growth factors in RPE cells

Group Leader

Heping Xu
[more information]


Queen’s University Belfast

Centre for Vision and Vascular Science
Institute of Clinical Science-A

Grovenor Road
BT12 6BA Belfast
Northern Ireland, UK

Phone: 028 906 33615
Fax: 028 906 32699



Research Groups