Photo of Guo-Hua  Fong, Ph.D.

Guo-Hua Fong, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Center for Vascular Biology
Academic Office Location:
Cell Biology
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3501
Phone: 860-679-2373
Fax: 860-679-1201

Cell Biology Graduate Program

Genetics & Developmental Biology Graduate Program

B.Sc.Zhejiang UniversityBiology
Ph.D.University of IllinoisMolecular Biology

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralUnversity of AlbertaDepartment of Biochemistry
PostdoctoralSamuel Lunenfeld Research InstituteDevelopmental Biology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
1997 - 2000 MRC Scholarship AwardMedical Research Council of Canada
1989 - 1991 Killam Memorial Fellowship Award (Alberta)
1989 - 1991 Alberta Heritage Fellowship

We are interested in developing angiogenesis-based approaches to treating type 2-diabetes, both by testing possible strategies in diabetic mice and through better understanding of fundamental aspects of blood vessel formation.

Project 1. Repair of injured vasculature in diabetic and non-diabetic mice. Type 2 diabetes has reached endemic levels, and leads to serious consequences such as heart attack, renal failure, blindness, amputation, and death. In spite decades of research, an effective treatment is still lacking. An important contributing factor to the devastating consequences of diabetes is loss and/or dysfunction of blood vessels in multiple tissues and organs. Destruction of blood vessels is not only a consequence of diabetic conditions, but also exacerbates the progression of diabetes because poor blood supply to multiple organs leads to further metabolic imbalance and therefore worsening of the disease. Thus, repair of diabetes-damaged blood vascular system treats both the symptom and cause.

Project 2. When blood vessels first form, they generally exist in a honeycomb pattern consisting of uniformly sized microvessels. To assume proper physiological functions, newly formed microvessels undergo extensive reorganization to form a tree-like hierarchical structure with clear distinctions of large trunks and progressively smaller branches. Very little is known about how this process is regulated, but yet such knowledge may be critical to the success of angiogenesis therapy. We are using the mouse retina as a model system to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this process.

Main technologies employed: manipulation of human induced pluripotent stem cells, genetic modification of mice, lentiviral vector-mediated overexpression and knockdown in mice, standard and live confocal imaging, microvascular surgery, laser Doppler imaging, conventional molecular biology and biochemistry, cell culture, and immunohistochemistry.

Not accepting students for Lab Rotations at this time

Journal Articles


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Regulation of VEGFR-2 Protein Abundance and Angiogenesis by VEGFR-1TalkNorth American Vascular Biology Organization conference2011Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Prolyl Hydroxylases as Promising Targets for Treating Retinopathy of PrematurityTalkCleveland Clinic Foundation Eye Institute2010Cleveland, Ohio
Role of Prolyl Hydroxylase in Maintaining Homeostasis in the Circulatory SystemTalkKeystone Symposia on Hypoxia2008Vancouver, Canada
Regulation of Retinal Angiogenesis by PHDsTalkNorth American Vascular Biology Organization Conference2008Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Intervention of Retinopathy of Prematurity by Manipulating the Hypoxia PathwayTalkNational Institutes of Health/ National Eye Institute2007Bethesda, Maryland
Role of HIF-Specific Prolyl Hydroxylases in the Homeostasis of the Circulatory SystemTalkNational Institutes of Health/ National Cancer Institute2007Frederick, Maryland
Evaluation of HIF-Specific Prolyl Hydroxylases as Putative Therapeutic Targets for Blood and Vascular CellsTalkMerck Research Laboratories2007Rahway, New Jersey
Positive and Negative Roles of VEGFR Signaling in Vascular DevelopmentTalkVascular Biology Symposium. Seminar presentation2004Charleston, South Carolina
A Dual Role of VEGFR-1 in Mouse EmbryogenesisTalkInternational symposium on vascular biology – vascular development and rege2003Fukouka, Japan
Coordinated Functions of VEGF--A and its ReceptorsTalkTohoku University, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer2003Sendai, Japan
VEGF-A Receptors Flt-1 and Flk-1 Mediate Two Distinct Signaling Pathways during VasculogenesisTalkThe XIIth International Conference of Vascular Biology2002Karuizawa, Japan
Approaches to Developmental Biology of the Vascular SystemTalkInternational Symposium (satellite) of Angiogenesis2002Karuizawa, Japan
Potentially Active Role of VEGFR-1 in VasculogenesisTalkGordon Conference (Angiogenesis)2001Rhode Island
Role of the bHLH-PAS Domain Transcription Factor EPAS-1 (HIF-2a) in Vascular RemodelingTalkGreat Lakes Meeting of Mammalian Development2000Toronto, Canada
Endothelial Development as Regulated by Flt-1 and EPAS-1TalkCenter for Cardiovascular Development, Baylor College of Medicine2000Houston, Texas
The Role of EPAS-1 Transcription Factor in Vascular RemodelingTalkSunnybrook and Women’s Health Science Centre (University of Toronto)2000Toronto, Canada
Vascular Pattern Formation During Mouse EmbryogenesisTalkWells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine2000Indianapolis, Indiana
Molecular Controlling Mechanisms of Cardiovascular DevelopmentTalkInstitute of Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences1999Beijing, China
Endothelial Differentiation and Vascular Pattern Formation in Mouse EmbryosTalkIndiana University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry1999Indianapolis, Indiana
Negative Regulation of Endothelial Differentiation by Flt-1TalkGreat Lakes Meeting of Mammalian Development1998Toronto, Canada
Negative Regulation of Vascularization by VEGF Receptor-1TalkSunnybrook Health Science Centre, (University of Toronto)1998Toronto, Canada
Role of VEGF Receptor in the Development of the Cardiovascular SystemPlenary LectureJapanese Meeting of Blood, Brain and Heart Council1997Tokyo, Japan
The Role of Flt-1 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase in Vascular OrganizationTalkChiba University1997Chiba, Japan
Embryonic Approaches to Blood Vessel FormationTalkTohoku University1997Sendai, Japan
Regulation of Endothelial Differentiation by VEGF ReceptorsTalkDepartment of Biochemistry, McMaster University.1997Hamilton, Canada
Role of VEGF Receptor Flt-1 in Vascular AssemblyTalkLondon Regional Cancer Centre1996London, Ontario, Canada
VEGF and its Receptors in Signaling Vascular DevelopmentTalkRobarts Research Institute1995London, Ontario, Canada