Xiaorong Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of

Biology and Psychology



Lab Phone:

(434) 924-1116


Office Phone:

  1. (434)924-1108


485 McCormick Rd, 

Gilmer Hall 480,

Charlottesville, VA 22903

I have been interested in understanding the regulation and misregulation of retinal structures and functions during normal development and in diseased conditions since my PhD study. My laboratory mainly has two lines of research: one is to investigate the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) development and function, and the other how visual system degenerates in mouse models of experimental glaucoma. Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness characterized by progressive RGC death and vision loss. A number of medical and surgical therapies for glaucoma exist to control intraocular pressure, a major risk-factor of glaucoma, but none of these treatments is curative. In other words, vision loss cannot be restored because RGC loss is irreversible. My laboratory has established different mouse models of acute optic nerve injury and chronic ocular hypertension to examine RGC death and its underlying mechanisms. We applied what we learned on type-specific RGC maturation in normal development to better understanding the type-specific degeneration of RGCs in animal models of glaucoma. Combining state-of-the-art retinal imaging with mouse genetics and physiology, we investigate the early damage in RGCs and how to best protect vision in these eye diseases. These studies will help to develop novel screening techniques for early detection of glaucoma and also neuroprotective strategies for glaucoma patients.


Welcome to Xiaorong’s Lab !