Research Faculty

Hui Shao, Ph.D.

Hui Shao, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
& Visual Sciences

Department of Microbiology and Immunology


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, specially uveitis and Sjögren’s syndrome.

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; the relationship of innate and adaptive immunity to the development of autoimmune uveitis; and the importance of toll-like receptors during intraocular inflammation.

Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome (pSS) is an autoimmune disease with a spontaneous, focal lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and lacrimal glands. However, the pathogenesis of pSS is unknown. Attempting to investigate the mechanisms mediating SS is hindered by the lack of animal models in which autoreactive T cells recognize self antigens in salivary and lacrimal glands and these specific autoreactive T cells can induce disease in the naïve recipients. We have recently identified a 30kd protein, which is the autoantigen for the disease. The availability of this model will allow us to determine the mechanism by which reciprocal interaction of antigen specific T and B cells leads to disease progression. We anticipate that the results from these studies will facilitate the development of diagnostic biomarkers and identify pivotal targets for therapeutic intervention in patients with SS.

PUBLICATIONS: (15 selected publications from 45)
  1. 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 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20739617
  2. Nian H, Shao H, Zhang G, Born WK, O'Brien RL, Kaplan HJ, Sun D. Regulatory effect of γδ T cells on IL-17+ uveitogenic T cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Sep;51(9):4661-7. Epub 2010 Apr 7. PMID: 20375337
  3. 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 Dec;86(6):1377-84. Epub 2009 Aug 18. PMID: 19690291
  4. Cui Y, Shao H, Lan C, Nian H, O'Brien RL, Born WK, Kaplan HJ, Sun D. Major role of γ δ T cells in the generation of IL-17+ uveitogenic T cells. J Immunol. 2009 Jul 1;183(1):560-7. PMID: 19542467
  5. Cui Y, Shao H, Sun D, Kaplan HJ. Regulation of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP)-specific Th1 and Th17 cells in anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Dec;50(12):5811-7. Epub 2009 May 20. PMID: 19458338
  6. 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 Oct;50(10):4769-76. Epub 2009 May 14. PMID: 19443727
  7. Liu Y, Clem B, Zuba-Surma EK, El-Naggar S, Telang S, Jenson AB, Wang Y, Shao H, Ratajczak MZ, Chesney J, Dean DC. Mouse fibroblasts lacking RB1 function form spheres and undergo reprogramming to a cancer stem cell phenotype. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Apr 3;4(4):336-47. PMID: 19341623
  8. Titsworth WL, Cheng X, Ke Y, Deng L, Burckardt KA, Pendleton C, Liu NK, Shao H, Cao QL, Xu XM. Differential expression of sPLA2 following spinal cord injury and a functional role for sPLA2-IIA in mediating oligodendrocyte death. Glia. 2009 Nov 1;57(14):1521-37. PMID: 19306380
  9. 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 Mar 1;182(5):3183-90. PMID: 19234216
  10. 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 Sep;49(9):3999-4007. Epub 2008 May 16. PMID: 18487362
  11. 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 Jan;49(1):282-9. PMID: 18172104
  12. 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 Jun;48(6):2667-75. PMID: 17525198
  13. 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 Jan 1;178(1):474-9. PMID: 17182586
  14. 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 Apr;47(4):1543-9. PMID: 16565390