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Wonkyu Ju

Professor of Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Wonkyu Ju is a Professor at the Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and Shiley Eye Institute and Hamilton Glaucoma Center at the UC San Diego. He earned his bachelor's (1993) degree from Hallym University and M.S. (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees in Medical College at the Catholic University in Korea and joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2005. Dr. Ju is a Principal Investigator at the National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Eye Institute (NEI). He is a member of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the International Coenzyme Q10 Association (ICQA), and the International Society for Eye Research (ISER).  


Dr. Ju was educated at the Medical College at the Catholic University in Korea in Anatomy and Neuroscience, receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. in 2001. Dr. Ju also completed a 2-year post-doctoral position in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell death and protection in retinal ischemia and glaucoma, and a 1-year post-doctoral position in the Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute studying the role of mitochondrial dynamics and function in retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma. Dr. Ju is currently an Editorial Board Member of Antioxidants, Frontiers in Neuroscience, and Reactive Oxygen Species. Dr. Ju also serves as an Ad hoc reviewer in NIH/NEI study sections. 


Dr. Ju’s lab focuses on the fundamental issues of mitochondria network and function in neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and neuroprotection in glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. These include biological mechanisms for intraocular pressure, glutamate excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammatory response in neurons and glial cells. Dr. Ju’s research also focuses on gene therapy for protecting neurons and glial cells in glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease.