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Seo-Hee Cho, PhD

Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Associate Professor (Research), Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center

Seo-Hee Cho
Contact Information

Contact Information





About Me

Research Interests

Mechanisms underlying eye development and retinal degeneration
Cell- and gene-based therapy strategies for degenerative retinal diseases

  • Organ size control
  • Cell size control
  • Tumor suppressors and oncogenes – TSC1/2 – mTOR and Hippo-Yap signaling
  • Polarity complex proteins

Our research goal is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying normal development and degenerative retinal diseases, and to establish the intervening strategies. Topics we currently study include: (I) Functional analysis of apical polarity gene Pals1 during retinal and lens development, (II) Pathophysiological study of degenerative retinal diseases, LCA (Leber Congenital Amaurosis) and RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa), to understand disease-causing mechanisms. We are particularly interested in polarity defects in retinal progenitor cells, which cause early-onset, photoreceptor degeneration in LCA type 8, (III) Cell-transplantation and gene-based therapies to to restore vision loss in LCA8-like mouse models in animal settings, (IV) Investigating the function of tumor suppressor-oncogene signal transduction pathways, TSC2-mTOR and Hippo-Yap, in eye development. Fundamental questions that we are trying to answer through these studies include, but are not limited to: (1) How is organ size determined? How are cellular contact inhibition signals translated and coordinated to cell proliferation activity in the nucleus? (2) How is cell size determined? How are differential cell sizes achieved and maintained? (3) What are the functions of the apical polarity complex during CNS development? (4) Can visual impairment in degenerative retinal diseases be rescued by gene- or cell-based therapies? Currently, we are using a combination of molecular and cellular methods, high-throughput (microarray), imaging (including confocal and multi-photon) and mouse genetics approaches (including conditional knock-out technology).

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 2007
  • PhD, Rutgers University, 2000
  • MS, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 1990
  • Undergraduate degree: Korea University, 1988


  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Developmental Biology

PubMed Publications

Song JY, Park R, Kim JY, Hughes L, Lu L, Kim S, Johnson RL, Cho SH. Dual function of Yap in the regulation of lens progenitor cells and cellular polarity. Dev Biol. 2014 Feb 15;386(2):281-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.12.037. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

Reith RM, McKenna J, Wu H, Hashmi SS, Cho SH, Dash PK, Gambello MJ. Loss of Tsc2 in Purkinje cells is associated with autistic-like behavior in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex. Neurobiol Dis. 2013 Mar;51:93-103. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2012.10.014. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Cho, S.-H., Kim, J.Y., Simons, D.L., Song, J. Y., Le J. H., Swindell, E. C., Jamrich, M., Wu, S. M., and Kim, S. Genetic ablation of Pals1 in retinal progenitor cells models the retinal pathology of Leber Congenital Amaurosis (2012) Hum. Mol. Genet. 21(12) 2663-2676

Schneider, D.J., Wu, M., Le, T., Cho, S.-H., Brenner, M.B., Blackburn, M.R., and Agarwal, S.K. Cadherin 11 contributes to pulmonary fibrosis: potential role in TGF-b production and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. (2011) The FASEB Journal 26 (2) 503-512... Expand