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

  • Cerium oxide nanoparticles as antioxidants in preserving vision using rodent retinal degeneration models
  • Role of microglia in retinal neovascularization and retinal degeneration


  • 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

Scientists have expanded the use of nanomaterials from industrial applications to biomedical research in the past decade. Nanomaterials have unique functions different from their bulk forms because of their minute size (measured in 10-9 meter or nanometer). Our research uses nanoceria (cerium oxide nanoparticles) to treat rodent models of degenerative blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy. We show that nanoceria slow the disease progression of these blinding diseases. These animals retain their vision longer. Because nanoceria act as regenerating antioxidants when applied to the eye, frequent dosing is not necessary. We also know that they are harmless when applied to healthy rat eyes. We are working to develop nanoceria as ophthalmic therapeutics to treat a broad spectrum of degenerative blinding diseases before cures become available for each of these intractable diseases. These projects are conducted in collaborations with Drs Xue Cai, James McGinnis, and Sudipta Seal at the University of Central Florida.

Recent Publications


Book Chapter:

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

Full CV can be accessed here.

Microscopy/Imaging Related Resources:

Research Tools


You will need your 
OUHSC login ID and password 
to access the videos.

Video 1:
Title: FV1200 New User Orientation Training
Date recorded: 1/28/2014
Duration: 2:52:00

Video 2:
Title: FV1200 Advanced Training I: Multi-area Imaging
Date recorded: 1/28/2014
Duration: 0:55:00