Dr Daisy Y. Shu


Fields of Research (FoR)

Animal cell and molecular biology


Dr. Daisy Shu is a Scientia Senior Lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales in 2023. The Shu lab explores the role of mitochondria and metabolism in retinal eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. She is focused on the molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and endothelial-mesenchymal transition in lens and retinal...view more

Dr. Daisy Shu is a Scientia Senior Lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales in 2023. The Shu lab explores the role of mitochondria and metabolism in retinal eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. She is focused on the molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and endothelial-mesenchymal transition in lens and retinal disease. Dr. Shu is the course convener for OPTM6423 (Therapeutics and the Posterior Eye) for Masters Optometry students. Dr. Shu graduated with a Bachelor of Optometry and Vision Science in 2012 from UNSW Sydney and a PhD in 2019 at the University of Sydney under the mentorship of Prof. Frank Lovicu, concentrating on growth factor signaling pathways in cataract formation. Dr. Shu completed her postdoctoral training in molecular mechanisms underpinning age-related macular degeneration under the mentorship of Dr. Magali Saint-Geniez at Harvard Medical School in 2022 and was promoted to Faculty Instructor in the Department of Ophthalmology of Harvard Medical School at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear.

Dr. Shu serves many leadership roles including Vice President for International Society of Eye Research (ISER) for the Asia-Pacific Region and serves on several committees including the ARVO Board of Trustees, ARVO Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) Leadership Committee, ARVO Professional Development and Education Committee and the ASIP Committee for Career Development. Daisy is passionate about science communication and science advocacy. Her advocacy efforts have been recognized by the ARVO Emerging Advocate Award in 2021. She co-hosts a podcast called “Behind Our Science” supported by ASIP and The Histochemical Society and actively updates her social media platforms @EyeDaisyShu on Twitter and Instagram.

My Grants

2019: Shu DY. Cancer Research Foundation Cell Imaging Grant for the EVOS M7000 Imaging System (AMF7000), USD$78, 315, Thermo Fisher Scientific

July 2020 – July 2021: Shu DY. Fight for Sight Leonard & Robert Weintraub Postdoctoral Fellowship, USD$22, 500. Fight for Sight United States

July 2021 – July 2023: Shu DY. Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Macular Degeneration Research, USD$200, 000. BrightFocus Foundation

2022-2022: Shu DY. Interstellar Initiative by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and the New York Academy of Sciences. The initiative aims to increase international and interdisciplinary collaboration uniting scientists within the early stages of their careers and catalyzing scientific advancement 2700000JPY (18598USD).

2023-2026: Kim LA & Shu DY. The Role of the Rho-Kinase Pathway in Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Department of Defence Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Vision Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Award ($500K USD)

My Qualifications

  • Postdoctoral Training 2019-2022, Saint-Geniez Lab, Harvard Medical School
  • PhD 2015-2019, Lovicu Lab, The University of Sydney
  • BOptom (Hons), BSci 2008-2012, UNSW

My Awards

2021: ProteinTech Best Postdoc Mentor Award Finalist 2021 (Link)

2021: ARVO Emerging Advocate Award (Link)

2024: ASIP Young Scientist Leadership Award (Link).

My Research Activities


  1. Shu DY, Ong K, Lovicu FJ. Histopathology of subcapsular cataract in a patient with atopic dermatitis. Optometry and Vision Science 2017; 94(2): 270-276. (Link)
  2. Shu DY, Wojciechowski M, Lovicu FJ. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-7 suppresses TGFβ2-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the lens: implications for cataract prevention. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2017; 58(2): 781-796. (Link)
  3. Wojciechowski M, Mahmutovic L, Shu DY, Lovicu FJ. ERK1/2 signaling is required for the initiation but not progression of TGFβ-induced lens epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Experimental Eye Research 2017; 159:98-113. (Link)
  4. Kichkin E, Visvanathan A, Lovicu FJ, Shu DY, Das SJ, Reddel SW, McCann EP, Zhang KY, Williams KL, Blair IP, Phillips WD. Postnatal development of spasticity following transgene insertion in the mouse βIV spectrin gene (SPTBN4). Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases 2017; 4(2): 159-164. (Link)
  5. Shu DY, Lovicu FJ. Myofibroblast transdifferentiation: the dark force in ocular wound healing and fibrosis. Progress in Retina and Eye Research 2017; 60: 44-65. (Link)
  6. Wojciechowski M, Shu DY, Lovicu FJ. ERK1/2-dependent gene expression contributing to TGFβ-induced lens EMT. Current Eye Research 2018; doi: 10.1080/02713683.2018.1464193. (Link)
  7. Shu DY, Wojciechowski M, Lovicu FJ. ERK1/2-mediated EGFR-signaling is required for TGFβ-induced lens epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Experimental Eye Research 2019; 178: 108-121. (Link)
  8. Rosales MA, Shu DY, Iacovelli J, Saint-Geniez M. Loss of PGC-1α in RPE induces mesenchymal transition and promotes retinal degeneration. Life Science Alliance. 2019; 2(3):e201800212. (Link)
  9. Shu DY, Hutcheon, AEK, Zieske, JD, Guo, XQ. Epidermal growth factor stimulates transforming growth factor-beta receptor type II expression in corneal epithelial cells. Scientific Reports. 2019; 9.8079: 1-11. (Link)
  10. Shu DY, Lovicu, FJ. Enhanced EGF receptor-signaling potentiates TGFβ-induced lens epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Experimental Eye Research. 2019; 185: 1-9. (Link)
  11. Shu DY, Butcher E, Saint-Geniez M. EMT and EndMT: Emerging Roles in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(12), 4271. (Link)
  12. Zheng Q, Jones FK, Leavitt SV, Ung L, Labrique A, Peters D, Lee E, Azman A, HIT-COVID Collaboration. HIT-COVID, a global database tracking public health interventions to COVID-19. Scientific Data. 2020; 7, 286. (Link)
  13. Shu DY, Ng K, Wishart TFL, Chui J, Lundmark M, Flokis M, Lovicu FJ. Contrasting roles for BMP-4 and ventromorphins (BMP agonists) in TGFβ-induced lens EMT. Exp Eye Res. 2021 Mar 24;206:108546. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2021.108546. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33773977. (Link)
  14. Shu DY, Butcher ER, Saint-Geniez M. Suppression of PGC-1α Drives Metabolic Dysfunction in TGFβ2-Induced EMT of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(9):4701. (Link)
  15. Wishart T, Flokis M, Shu DY, Das S, Lovicu FJ. Hallmarks of lens aging and cataractogenesis. Experimental Eye Research. 2021, p.108709. (Link)
  16. Shu DY and Lovicu FJ 2021. Insights into Bone Morphogenetic Protein—(BMP-) Signaling in Ocular Lens Biology and Pathology Cells 10, no. 10: 2604.
  17. Shu DY, Frank SI, Fitch TC, Karg MM, Butcher ER, Nnuji-John E, Kim LA and Saint-Geniez M (2022) Dimethyl Fumarate Blocks Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha-Driven Inflammation and Metabolic Rewiring in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Front. Mol. Neurosci. 15:896786. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2022.896786
  18. Fitch TC, Frank SI, Li KY, Saint-Geniez M, Kim LA, Shu DY. Real-Time Analysis of Bioenergetics in Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Using High-Resolution Respirometry. J. Vis. Exp. e64572, In-press (2023)
  19. Shu DY, Chaudhary S, Cho KS, Lennikov A, Miller WP, Thorn DC, Yang M, McKay TB. Role of Oxidative Stress in Ocular Diseases: A Balancing Act. Metabolites 2023, 13, 187.
  20. Ng PQ, Saint-Geniez M, Kim LA, Shu DY. Divergent Metabolomic Signatures of TGFβ2 and TNFα in the Induction of Retinal Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. Metabolites. 2023; 13(2):213.
  21. Shyam R, Shu DY, Zuniga-Sanchez E and Vasudevan D (2023) Editorial: Molecular mechanisms in ocular development and disease. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 11:1244123. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2023.1244123.

My online NCBI Bibliography can be accessed here.


My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

  • PhD
  • Masters
  • Honours
  • Independent Learning Project (ILP; medicine)
  • Vacation scholarships

Current Honours projects:

1. Understanding angiogenesis: Gene expression changes during pathogenic activation of retinal endothelial cells (Bioinformatics focus)


My Teaching

Course Convener for OPTM6423 Therapeutics and the Posterior Eye

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School of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health,
Level 3, Room 3.059, North Wing, Rupert Myers Building

Map reference
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