Lily L. Wong, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Research, Deptartment of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC)
  • Systems Manager, NEI/DMEI Cellular Imaging Core Facility

Special Interests

  • Role of Caveolin1 in corneal epithelial stem cell maintenance
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerium oxide nanoparticles in biomedical applications


  • PhD, Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • Postdoctoral Training, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Postdoctoral Training, Dept. of Surgery, Div. of Anatomy, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA

Research Summary

I am a cross-disciplinary idea synthesizer. Trained as a fruit fly developmental biologist, I conducted research on developmental programming in slime mold, chick limb buds, and the developing retinas of frogs and rats. For ten years, I focused on developing the redox-active cerium oxide nanoparticles as ophthalmic therapeutics in the treatment of blinding retinal disease models in rodents. I also demonstrated that these nanoparticles were promising therapeutic carriers to the retina via intravitreal injection. Currently, I am focusing on defining the role of Caveolin1 in the maintenance of corneal epithelial stem cells using rodent models. Findings from this research can benefit patients with ocular surface diseases and injuries. As the manager of an imaging core facility for 14 years, I have trained over 280 researchers to effectively utilize the various imaging equipment in the facility. I am grateful to be able to contribute to science in my daily work.

Recent Publications


Book Chapters:

Wong, L.L. 2016. Chapter 3. Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles-associated Oxidant and Antioxidant Effects and Mechanism. In “Rare Earth Elements in Human and Environmental Health: At Crossroads between Toxicity and Safety”, edited by Pagano, G., Pan Stanford Publishing. For ebook download:

Wong, L.L. and McGinnis, J.F. 2014. Nanoceria as bona fide Catalytic Antioxidants in Medicine: what we know and what we want to know…Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;801:821-8. Wong2014CeNPMiniReview.pdf

Research Articles:

Wong, L.L., Pye, Q.N., Chen, L., Seal, S., McGinnis, J.F. 2015. Defining the Catalytic Activity of Nanoceria in the P23H-1 Rat, a Photoreceptor Degeneration Model. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121977. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121977

Wong, L.L., Hirst, S.M., Pye, Q.N., Reilly, C.M., Seal, S., McGinnis, J.F. 2013. Catalytic Nanoceria are Preferentially Retained in the Rat Retina and are not Cytotoxic after Intravitreal Injection. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58431.

Zhou, X., Wong, L.L. (co-first author), Karakoti, A.S., Seal, S., and McGinnis, J.F. 2011. Nanoceria Inhibit the Development and Promote the Regression of Pathologic Retinal Neovascularization in the Vldlr knockout mouse. PLoS ONE 6 (2): e16733.

Kong, L., Cai, X., (co-first author), Zhou, X., Wong, L.L., Karakoti, A.S., Seal, S., and McGinnis, J.F. 2011. Nanoceria extend photoreceptor cell lifespan in tubby mice by modulation of apoptosis/survival signaling pathways. Neurobiology of Disease 42: 514-523.

Wong, L.L. and Rapaport, D.H. 2009. Defining Retinal Progenitor Cell Competence in Xenopus laevis by Clonal Analysis. Development 136:1707-1715. DOI: 10.1242/dev.027607. (Cover Photo for May 15, 2009, Volume 136, Issue 10)

Funding Sources

Curriculum Vitae
 Wong CV

Meet Dr. Wong


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