Support teaching, research, and patient care.
Dr. Wu is a board-certified ophthalmologist and a fellowship-trained specialist in oculoplastic and orbital surgery. This specialty is dedicated to care of the eyelid and other structures around the eye. It is also called ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery.Dr. Wu focuses his expertise on saving people’s vision. He provides comprehensive, compassionate care for both adults and children with sight-threatening diseases and injuries of the eye and surrounding area. He treats tearing, eyelid drooping, thyroid eye disease, eyelid tumors, and other facial disorders. He also performs facial rejuvenation as well as reconstructive and aesthetic surgery procedures.Dr. Wu is a national leader in advancing the use of stem cell therapy to treat conditions involving the eye and face. His research explores how stem cells can regenerate a patient’s own tissues for potential transplant. His goal is to make regenerative medicine an accepted treatment for people worldwide suffering from diseases of the eye.The National Eye Institute funded Dr. Wu’s research to develop stem cell therapies to treat corneal blindness and regenerate the surface of the eye. He leads the Stanford Ophthalmic Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and is developing leading-edge treatments for vision loss and eye disease. He also has participated as a principal investigator in research projects including “The Human Eye Cell Atlas.” The goal of this project is to create a reference atlas of all cell types in the human eye. Dr. Wu is also helping to lead a groundbreaking study of a strategy for reconstruction of the surface of the eye. These projects are among more than a dozen involving Dr. Wu that have explored innovations in medication and surgical technique for eye disorders. He has co-authored articles on his research discoveries in JAMA Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Retina, Medical Research and Innovations, and many other peer-reviewed publications. He is an article reviewer for publications including the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Human Gene Therapy. He also has contributed to chapters in the textbooks Ophthalmology and Ophthalmologic Oncology: Mount Sinai Expert Guides.Dr. Wu has presented the findings of his research at numerous international, national, and local conferences. They include meetings of the North American Society of Academic Oculoplastic Surgeons, Endocrine Society, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), and others. Topics have included the stem cells and other approaches to perform regeneration procedures on the eye. Dr. Wu has earned honors for his clinical, research, and academic achievements. He has won awards from the National Institutes of Health, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of Washington, and Yale University.
Surgical mission for patients in need
My goal is to perform translational research, bringing breakthroughs in stem cell biology and tissue engineering to clinical ophthalmology and reconstructive surgery. Over 6 million people worldwide are afflicted with corneal blindness, usually caused by chemical and thermal burns, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, microbial infections, or chronic inflammation. These injuries often result in corneal vascularization, conjunctivalization, scarring, and opacification from limbal epithelial stem cell (LSC) deficiency (LSCD), for which there is currently no durable treatment. Bilateral LSCD is particular devastating not only because of lost quality of life and social productivity, but because unlike most retinal diseases that affect the aged, LSCD largely affects the relatively young. The most promising cure for bilateral LSCD is finding an autologous source of limbal epithelial cells for transplantation. Utilizing recent advances in the field of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), my research aims to create a reliable and renewable source of limbal epithelial cells for potential use in treating human eye diseases. These cells will be grown on resorbable biomatrices to generate stable transplantable corneal tissue. These studies will serve as the basis for human clinical trials and make regenerative medicine a reality for those with sight-threatening disease. On a broader level, this experimental approach could serve as a paradigm for the creation of other transplantable tissue for use throughout the body. Stem cell biology has the potential to influence every field of medicine and will revolutionize the way we perform surgery.