Research Overview

Dr Fu’s research interest is in the understanding of basic mechanism of retinal neurovascular biology, particularly the metabolic effects on diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration.

About the Researcher

Dr. Fu graduated from the Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong with a Ph.D. in Ophthalmology in 2012 and joined Prof. Lois Smith’s group in Sep 2012 for postdoctoral training. Dr. Fu’s current focus is to investigate the effects of diets, hormones, glucose/lipid metabolism on the progression of retinopathies.


  1. Asia-ARVO 2017 Travel Grant

2016: Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Competitive Renewal Research Award

2015: The Bernadotte Foundation Travel Award, New York, USA.

2015: Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Career-starter Research Award, Flower Mound, TX, USA.

Key Publications


  1. Z Fu, Y Gong, R Liegl, Z Wang, CH Liu, S Meng, S Burnim, N Saba, TW Fredrick, PC Morss, A Hellstrom, S Talukdar, LEH Smith. FGF21 administration suppresses retinal and choroidal neovascularization. Cell Reports. 2017 Feb 14;18(7):1606-1613. PMID: 28199833.
  2. Z Fu, SS Meng, SS Burnim, LEH Smith, ACY Lo, Lutein facilitates physiological revascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2017 Dec. PMID: 28002872.
  3. Z Fu, Y Gong, C Lofqvist, A Hellstrom, LEH Smith. Review: adiponectin in retinopathy. BBA – Molecular Basis of Disease. 2016 May 4;1862(8):1392-1400. PMID: 27155572.
  4. Z Fu, S Nian, SY Li, D Wong, SK Chung and ACY Lo. Deficiency of aldose reductase attenuates inner retinal neuronal changes in a mouse model of retinopathy of prematurity. Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2015. Sep;253(9):1503-13. PMID: 25921391.
  5. Z Fu, C. Lofqvist, Z Shao, Y Sun, JS Joyal, C Hurst, R Cui, L Evans, K Tian, J SanGiovanni, J Chen, D Ley, IH Pupp, A Hellstrom, LEH. Smith. Dietary ω3 polyunsaturated-fatty-acid decreases retinal neovascularization by adipose-ER-stress reduction to increase adiponectin. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015 Apr;101(4):879-88. PMID: 25833984
  6. Z Shao*, Z Fu*, A Stahl, JS Joyal, C Hatton, A Juan, C Hurst, L Evans, Z Cui, D Pei, Y Gong, D Xu, K Tian, H Bogardus, ML Edin, F Lih, P Sapieha, J Chen, D Panigrahy, A Hellstrom, DC Zeldin, LEH Smith. Cytochrome P450 2C8 ω3LCPUFA metabolites increase mouse retinal pathologic neovascularization. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Brief Report, 34(3):581-6. PMID: 24458713 (* Equal Contribution)
  7. Z Fu, SY Li, N Kociok, D Wong, SK Chung and ACY Lo. Aldose reductase deficiency reduced vascular changes in neonatal mouse retina in oxygen-induced retinopathy. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2012 53(9):5698-712. PMID: 22836764


  1. Gong, Z. Shao, Z Fu, ML. Edin, Y. Sun, RG. Liegl, Z. Wang, CH. Liu, SB. Burnim, SS. Meng, FB, Lih, JP SanGiovannie, DC. Zeldin, A. Hellstrom, LEH. Smith. Fenofibrate Inhibits Cytochrome P450 Epoxygenase 2C Activity to Suppress Pathological Ocular Angiogenesis. EBioMedicine. 2016 Nov;13:201-211. PMID: 27720395.
  2. Gong, Z Fu, ML. Edin, CH. Liu, Z. Wang, Z. Shao, TW. Fredrick, NJ. Saba, PC, Morss, SB. Burnim, SS. Meng, FB, Lih, KSS. Lee, EP. Moran, JP SanGiovannie, A. Hellstrom, BD. Hammock, DC. Zeldin, LEH. Smith. Cytochrome P450 oxidase 2C inhibition adds to omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids protection against retinal and choroidal angiogenesis. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2016. Sep;36(9):1919-27. PMID:27417579.
  3. JS Joyal, Y Sun, M Gantner, Z Shao, L Evans, N Saba, T Fredrick, S Burnim, JS Kim, G Patel, A Juan, C Hurst, C Hatton, Z Cui, K Pierce, P Bherer, E Aguilar, M Powner, K Vevis, M Boisvert, Z Fu, E Levy, M Fruttiger, A Packard, F Rezende, B Maranda,, P Sapieha, J Chen, M Friedlander, CB. Clish and LEH Smith. Retinal lipid and glucose metabolism dictates angiogenesis through lipid sensor Ffar1. Nature Medicine. Apr;22(4):439-45. PMID: 26974308.
  4. Y Gong, J Li, Y Sun, Z Fu, CH Liu, L Evans, K Tian, N Saba, T Fredrick, P Morss, J Chen, LEH Smith. Optimization of an Image-guided Laser-induced Choroidal Neovascularization Model in Mice. PloS One. 2015. Jul 10;10(7). PMID: 26161975.
  5. J Li, C Liu, Y Sun, Y Gong, Z Fu, L Evans, K Tian, A Juan, Christian Hurst, A Mammoto, J Chen. Endothelial Twist1 promotes pathological ocular angiogenesis. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Nov 20;55(12):8267-77. PMID: 25414194
  6. AKW Lai, Z Fu, ACY Lo. Stem cell therapy for retinopathy of prematurity. Anatomy & Physiology. 2013. 3(126), 2161-0940.
  7. SY Li, Z Fu, ACY Lo. Hypoxia-induced oxidative stress in ischemic retinopathy. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Review. Vol Article number 426769. PMID: 23125893
  8. SY Li, FKC Fung, Z Fu, HHL Chan, ACY Lo. Anti-inflammatory effects of lutein in retinal ischemic/hypoxic injury: in vivo and in vitro Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2012. 53(10):5976-84. PMID: 22871829
  9. SY Li, D Yang, Z Fu, T Woo, D Wong and ACY Lo. Lutein enhances survival and reduces neuronal damage in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. Neurobiology of Disease 45(1): 624-632. PMID: 22024715
  10. SY Li, Z Fu, H Ma, WC Jang, KF So, D Wong and ACY Lo. Effect of lutein on retinal neurons and oxidative stress in a model of acute retinal ischemia/reperfusion. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 50(2): 836-842. PMID: 18936152.



  • English

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration

Research Departments