Wei Li, PhD, to present seminar on “Ligandomics: A Powerful Tool for Ocular Vascular Research and Drug Discovery,” 3/14/22 at noon, IREB 520

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Wei Li, PhD, will give a seminar titled: “Ligandomics: A Powerful Tool for Ocular Vascular Research and Drug Discovery” on 3/14/2022 at 12:00 (noon) in IREB 520 as a part of the NTERI seminar series.

Dr. Li is a Professor of Ophthalmology, Knights Templar Eye Foundation Presidential Chair in Ophthalmology, at the Department of Ophthalmology and Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Li research goals are to advance the knowledge of disease mechanisms and develop novel therapies to relive patient suffering. Dr. Li laboratory has been studying ligand-receptor interactions for cell-cell communication that has been traditionally studied on a case-by-case basis with inherent technical challenges. He created the only paradigm of “ligandomics” to globally map cell-wide ligands. Comparative ligandomics for diseased versus healthy cells is capable of systematically identifying disease-selective ligands. His team further developed “function-first” and “therapy-first” ligandomics approaches to independently characterize functional activity, disease selectivity, pathogenic role and therapeutic potential of identified ligands. These innovative methods have led to the discovery of secretogranin III (Scg3) as a novel disease-selective angiogenic factor. Scg3 is a neuron-derived angiogenic factor that functions as a disease-restricted neurovascular regulator. He generated Scg3-neutralizing antibodies and confirmed their high efficacy to alleviate multiple neovascular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and choroidal neovascularization, with minimal side effects on healthy vasculature. In contrast, all currently approved anti-angiogenic drugs target both diseased and healthy vessels with side effects. Dr. Li’s findings highlighted ligandomics as a powerful technology for disease mechanism research and drug target discovery.