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Chi-Chao Chan

Chi-Chao Chan

National Institutes of Health (NIH)



Chan graduated from Chungzhan Medical College (Sun Yat-sen University) in China, in 1967. She then received her B.A. and M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1972 and 1975, respectively. She later completed her ophthalmology residency at Stanford University Medical Center in 1979. Subsequently, she fulfilled two post-doctoral trainings in ophthalmic pathology under Dr. W. Richard Green at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital (1979-1982); and in clinical ocular immunology under Dr. Robert B. Nussenblatt at the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (1982-1986). She was certified with the American Board of Ophthalmology and continued her academic endeavors as a medical officer at the NEI. Dr. Chan was promoted to the chief of the Immunopathology Section in the Laboratory of Immunology in 1992. Dr. Chan became head of the NEI Histopathology Core in 1999. The core, which has a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Approved (CLIA) certification, receives both clinical and experimental specimens, and processes 6000-8000 samples annually. Dr. Chan is also a mentor to NEI clinical and research post-doctoral and post-baccalaureate fellows. She has been helping in the development and improvement of ophthalmology and vision research in China and, in this process, has promoted exchange among ophthalmologists and vision researchers within China, the United States, and the world.


The research activities and goals of the Immunopathology Section include two major areas: (1) Research on clinical specimens with the aims of sharpening diagnosis, understanding disease pathogenesis, and improving patient management. These aims include primary intraocular lymphoma, uveitis, and age-related macular degeneration. (2) Research on model systems of experimental eye diseases. The goal here is to study different pathological conditions mimicking various human ocular diseases such as degeneration, inflammation, and neoplasm and to evaluate the effects of new therapeutic agents on these models.