Hui Shao, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Research Faculty


301 E. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Louisville KY 40202
Telephone: 502-852-1329 Fax: 502-852-3183


Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, China, 1982


Free University at Berlin, Germany, Berlin, Germany, 1990


My research interests focus on the immune regulation in ocular inflammation and autoimmunity. The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in the eye and design specific immune therapy to treat disease, especially uveitis.


Autoimmune uveitis is a leading cause of ocular morbidity. Although there are many well identified causes of intraocular inflammation, the etiology of autoimmune uveitis is not clear. We study the pathogenesis of autoimmune uveitis using rodent models. Specifically, we are interested in molecules required for autoreactive T cell activation in the periphery and within the eye; the interactions between T cells and ocular parenchymal cells; the balance between effector pathogenic Th1/Th17 cells and regulatory T cells; and the relationship of innate and adaptive immunity to the development of autoimmune uveitis.


Moreover, we are currently exploring new projects which are involved in exosomes from ocular cells in the regulation of intraocular inflammation and retinal vasculature. The long-term goal is to develop a novel therapy to control aberrant retinal angiogenesis as well as intraocular inflammation.

PUBLICATIONS: (15 selected publications from 45)
    1. Jiang G, Wang Y, Yun J, Hajrasouliha AR, Zhao Y, Sun D, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. HMGB1 release triggered by the interaction of live retinal cells and uveitogenic T cells is Fas/FasL activation-dependent. J Neuroinflammation. 2015 12(1):179. PMID:26394985
    2. Sun D, Liang D, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. The role of Th17-associated cytokines in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Cytokine. 2015 pii: S1043-4666(14)00631-0. PMID: 25742774
    3. Jiang G, Sun D, Yang H, Lu Q, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. HMGB1 is an early and critical mediator in an animal model of uveitis induced by IRBP-specific T cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2014 95(4): 599-607. PMID: 24374967
    4. Hajrasouliha AR, Jiang G, Lu Q, Lu H, Kaplan HJ, Zhang HG, Shao H. Exosomes from retinal astrocytes contain antiangiogenic components that inhibit laser-induced choroid neovascularization. J Biol Chem. 2013 288(39): 28058-67. PMID: 23926109
    5. Jiang G, Sun D, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Retinal astrocytes pretreated with NOD2 and TLR2 ligands activate uveitogenic T cells. PLoS ONE 2012 7(7):e40510. PMID: 22808176
    6. Yan K, Sun D, Jiang G, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. IL-22-induced regulatory CD11b+ APCs suppress experimental autoimmune uveitis. J Immunol. 2011 187(5):21309-9. PMID: 21795593
    7. Ke Y, Sun D, Jiang G, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. PD-L1hi retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells elicited by inflammatory cytokines induce regulatory activity in uveitogenic T cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 88(6): 1241-9. PMID: 20739617
    8. Ke Y, Jiang G, Sun D, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Retinal Astrocytes respond to IL-17 differently than Retinal Pigment Epithelial cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2009 86(6):1377-84. PMID: 19690291
    9. Jiang G, Ke Y, Sun D, Wang Y, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Regulatory role of TLR ligands on the activation of autoreactive T cells by retinal astrocytes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 50(10):4769-76. PMID: 19443727
    10. Ke Y, Liu K, Huang GQ, Cui Y, Kaplan HJ, Shao H†, Sun D. Anti-inflammatory role of IL-17 in experimental autoimmune uveitis. J Immunol. 2009 182(5):3183-90. PMID: 19234216. †:co-corresponding author
    11. Ke Y, Jiang G, Sun D, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Ocular regulatory T cells distinguish monophasic from recurrent autoimmune uveitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 49(9):3999-4007.PMID: 18487362
    12. Jiang G, Ke Y, Sun D, Han G, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Reactivation of Uveitogenic T Cells by Retinal Astrocytes Derived from Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis-Prone B10RIII Mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 49(1):282-9. PMID: 18172104
    13. Ke Y, Sun D, Zhang P, Jiang G, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. Suppression of established experimental autoimmune uveitis by anti-LFA-1alpha Ab. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 48(6):2667-75. PMID: 17525198
    14. Zhang P, Sun D, Ke Y, Kaplan HJ, Shao H. The net effect of costimulatory blockers is dependent on the subset and activation status of the autoreactive T cells. J Immunol. 2007 178(1):474-9. PMID: 17182586
    15. Liao T, Ke Y, Shao WH, Haribabu B, Kaplan HJ, Sun D, Shao H. Blockade of the interaction of leukotriene B4 with its receptor prevents development of autoimmune uveitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 47(4):1543-9. PMID: 16565390