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Lijin Dong, Ph.D.

Associate Scientist, Head

Contact Information: 301-402-5296


Dr. Lijin Dong graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Tianjin Medical College in 1983. Following this, he spent two years as a teaching and research assistant in the Department of Histology and Embryology at Tianjin Medical School and then he pursued his graduate studies in the United States. In 1996, he completed his Ph.D. training at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. During his doctoral research, he focused on investigating the interactions between extracellular matrix proteins and integrin receptors on cell surfaces using protein biochemistry and gene targeting techniques. During his PhD. Study, he established and characterized the entactin knockout mouse which was one of the first loss-of function mouse models in the field.

Dr. Dong then undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here, he made contributions to the field of mammalian DNA damage repair response pathways by generating and characterizing a series of loss-of-function mouse models in the DNA-PK dependent DNA double-strand break repair pathways, some of the mouse mutants are widely utilized in studying the NHEJ pathway in the mammalian system. Shortly after his postdoctoral fellowship in the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. Dong joined the Rush Medical School in Chicago as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry. In addition to teaching responsibilities for first-year medical students, he focused his efforts to investigating chemoresistance in human ovarian cancer.

In 2004, Dr. Dong became a co-director of the Genetic Engineering Core at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. Following the retirement of his fellow co-director in 2017, he assumed the role of acting director and was later officially appointed as the director of the core. In this capacity, Dr. Dong continues to contribute to advancements in genetic engineering and its applications in the field of ophthalmology.

Selected publications

  1. Sami Boudkkazi; Jochen Schwenk; Naoki Nakaya; Aline Brechet; Astrid Kollewe; Harumi Harada; Wolfgangn Bildl; Akos Kulik; Lijin Dong; Afia Sultana; Uwe Schulte; Stanislav Tomarev; Bernd Fakler. A Noelin-organized extracellular network of proteins required for constitutive and context-dependent anchoring of AMPA-receptors. In press, Neuron 2023
  2. Liu J, He Y, Lwin C, Han M, Guan B, Naik A, Bender C, Moore N, Huryn LA, Sergeev Y, Qian H, Zeng Y, Dong L, Liu P, Lei J, Haugen CJ, Prasov L, Shi R, Dollfus H, Aristodemou P, Laich Y, Németh AH, Taylor J, Downes S, Krawczynski M, Meunier I, Strassberg M, Tenney J, Gao J, Shear MA, Moore AT, Duncan JL, Menendez B, Hull S, Vincent A, Siskind CE, Traboulsi EI, Blackstone C, Sisk R, Utz V, Webster AR, Michaelides M, Arno G, Synofzik M, Hufnagel RB. Neuropathy target esterase activity predicts retinopathy among PNPLA6 disorders. bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023
  3. Lui JC, Wagner J, Zhou E, Dong L, Barnes KM, Jee YH, Baron J. Loss-of-function variant in SPIN4 causes an X-linked overgrowth syndrome. 2023 JCI Insight
  4. Ablation of Pigment Epithelium-derived Factor Receptor (PEDF-R) Causes Photoreceptor Degeneration. Alexandra Bernardo-Colón, Lijin Dong, Mones Abu-Asab, Richard S. Brush, Martin-Paul Agbaga and S. Patricia Becerra Journal of Lipid Research 2023
  5. A Bietti Crystalline Dystrophy Mouse Model Shows Increased Sensitivity to Light-Induced Injury. Zhiwei Ma, Xiaodong Jiao, Martin-Paul Agbaga, Robert E. Anderson, Haohua Qian, Qian Li 4, Lijin Dong and J. Fielding Hejtmancik (2022) IJMS
  6. Targeted expression of RS1 in retinoschisis mouse retina bipolar cells resolves schisis: Insight into the cell -type specificity. Vijayasarathy Camasamudram, Yong Zhen, Lijin Dong, Sieving, P.A. (2022) IOVS
  7. Zfp503/Nlz2 is Required for RPE Differentiation and Optic Fissure Closure. Boobalan, Elangovan Lijin Dong Brian Brook et at (2022) IOVS
  8. Photoreceptor cells constitutively express IL-35 and promote ocular immune privilege Cheng-Rong Yu, Manoj K. Yadav, Minkyung Kang, Yingyos Jittayasothorn, Lijin Dong and Charles E. Egwuagu (2022) IJMS
  9. Shisa7 phosphorylation regulates GABAergic transmission and neurodevelopmental behaviors. Kunwei Wu, Ryan David Shepard, David Castellano, Qingjun Tian, Lijin Dong and Wei Lu (2022) Neuropsychopharmacology
  10. GATD3A, a mitochondrial deglycase with evolutionary origins from gammaproteobacteria, restricts the formation of advanced glycation endproducts. Andrew J Smith; Jayshree Advani; Daniel C Brock; Jacob Nellissery; Jessica Gumerson; Lijin Dong; L. Aravind; Breandan Kennedy; Anand Swaroop (2022). BMC Biology
  11. A Neomorphic Variant in SP7 Alters Sequence Specificity and Causes a High-Turnover    Bone Disorder. Julian Lui, Adalbert Raimann, Hironori Hojo, Lijin Dong, Paul Roschger, Bijal Kikani, Uwe Wintergerst, Nadja Fratzl-Zelman, Youn Hee Jee, Gabriele Haeusler, and Jeffrey Baron (2022) Nat Commun 13, 700
  12. Jiao Xiaodong, Ma Zhiwei, Lei Jingqi, Liu Pinghu, Cai Xiaoyu, Shahi Pawan K., Chan Chi-Chao, Fariss Robert, Pattnaik Bikash R., Dong Lijin, Hejtmancik J. Fielding (2022) Retinal Development and Pathophysiology in Kcnj13 Knockout Mice. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 9-3736
  13. Gumerson JD, Alsufyani A, Yu W, Lei J, Sun X, Dong L, Wu Z, Li T (2022) Restoration of RPGR expression in vivo using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. Gene Ther 29, 81–93.

Last updated: August 23, 2023