Raymond Gao, PhDXiaoyi “Raymond” Gao, PhD joins the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, UIC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences as Associate Professor of Ophthalmology.  His research interests include Vision Disorders, Human Genetics, Statistical Genomics, and Bioinformatics.

“Dr. Gao’s recruitment adds strength in interdisciplinary research in genetics, bioinformatics and statistics to vision science at UIC,” stated Dr. Rohit Varma, Department Chair.

Dr. Gao, a statistical geneticist, is principal investigator of the Mexican American Glaucoma Genetic Study (MAGGS), which aims at identifying genetic determinants related to open angle glaucoma in Mexican Americans, funded by the National Eye Institute through 2017 (R01EY022651).  The study is the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of glaucoma quantitative measures in this understudied minority group. He is also a co-investigator on the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study and Chinese American Eye Study directed by Dr. Rohit Varma. Dr. Gao has studied genetic association on diverse traits such as eye disorders, chronic kidney disease, Parkinson disease, obesity, atrial fibrillation and cancer treatment response. He has extensive experience in population stratification, permutation tests, multiple testing corrections, genotype imputation, gene-gene interactions, GWAS and meta-analysis. His goal is to advance genomics-based discoveries in ocular diseases/traits and to reduce the burden of blindness.

Dr. Gao received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics-Statistics at the North Carolina State University and completed his postdoctoral training at the Duke Center for Human Genetics and the Miami Institute for Human Genomics (current name: The John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics). He joined the faculty of Division of Statistical Genomics, Washington University School of Medicine, working in complex human diseases research for two years and a half before being recruited by Dr. Varma to the Department of Ophthalmology and Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, where he worked from 2010 to 2012 and focused his research on statistical genomics and the genetics of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma in Latinos.

“I am delighted to come to the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, UIC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, a leading institution of eye research”, Gao said, “I look forward to great discoveries in ocular genomics at UIC.”