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Bo Tian, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Brief Bio

Dr. Tian and her research team joined UMass in 2018 to extend the basic and translational research programs to better understand retinal pathophysiology and to improve treatment of retinal diseases. During her post-doctoral training between 2014 and 2017 at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, her main research contributions include: 1) discovered that there is cytosolic accumulation of nuclear DNA (nDNA) fragments in age related macular degeneration (AMD) patient macular RPE cells.

These events promoted RPE cellular senescence and secretion of inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which contribute to the development of AMD pathologies; 2) found that microRNA-17-3p exacerbates oxidative damage in human retinal pigment epithelial cells, and atorvastatin promotes phagocytosis and attenuates pro-inflammatory response in human retinal pigment epithelial cells; 3) demonstrated that atorvastatin increase the phagocytic function of the RPE cells and support the clinical study, which show regression of some high-risk features of AMD in patients with intensive statin treatment. In addition, Dr. Tian has been investigating the contribution of disordered mitochondrial dynamic to the development and progression of AMD.

One of her research interests also lies on utilizing large animal models to advance knowledge of viral and non-viral vector based ocular gene therapy as well as the development and evaluation of AAV vectors, especially as such efforts pass from proof of principle to application including inherited and non-inherited eye disorders, especially retinal blindness. Through the study that overcome current translational hurdles, Dr. Tian is helping to position gene therapy as a broadly applicable clinical modality in ophthalmology. She is an active member of the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy.

Research Interest

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Gene therapy for inherited and non-inherited ocular diseases

Academic Rank

  • Assistant Professor
  • UMass Chan Medical School

Center/Research Area Affiliations

  • Translational Research Center


  • Medical School: China Medical University, China
  • Postdoc: Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE), Harvard Medical School, USA

Professional Societies and Affiliations

  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)


  • English, Chinese-Mandarin
 Dr. Bo Tian.jpg

Bo Tian, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information
Tel: 508-856-4042


Lab Address
Room S3-116, Main School Building
55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655

Click here for Dr. Tian’s publications