Ying Hsu

Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Postdoctoral Scholar
M.S. in Bioengineering
B.S. in Bioengineering

Ying obtained her bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also earned a master’s degree in Bioengineering focusing on the personalized design of intrathecal drug therapies. She then moved to Iowa City to do her graduate research on Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), a rare genetic disease that is caused by malfunctioning of the cilium – antenna of the cell, in Val Sheffield laboratory. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2020 from the University of Iowa.
In her Ph.D thesis research, she focused on the disease mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, in order to develop treatments for this blinding disease. She found that the lack of BBSome function, a protein complex necessary for ciliary transport, causes photoreceptor ciliary malformation, a feature shared by mutant mouse models of the BBSome (Hsu et al., PLOS genetics ; Hsu et al., Human Molecular Genetics). In addition, she found that photoreceptor ciliary malformation and photoreceptor degeneration can be halted by the restoration of BBSome function in the eye (Hsu et al., PLOS genetics). In addition, the inner retina may contribute to disease pathology in BBS (Hsu et al., Scientific Reports). Her Ph.D. thesis research demonstrating the prevention of photoreceptor cell death after gene restoration points to immense treatment potential for blindness in BBS.
In Drack research laboratory, where she is performing her postdoctoral research, she is focusing on developing state-of-the-art gene therapy treatments for BBS.