About Dr. Zhang & the Lab

Curriculum Vitae
PubMed Articles
Shiley Eye Institute | Zhang

k_zhangProfessor of Ophthalmology
Chief, Ophthalmic Genetics
Board Certification in Ophthalmology
Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Disease and Surgery

Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Ophthalmology and Chief of Ophthalmic Genetics at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Zhang obtained his M.D. with Magna Cum Laude honors from the Harvard Medical School and MIT joint MD program and his Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University and his retina fellowship at University of Utah. He was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and University of Utah.

Dr. Zhang’s clinical and research focuses are on novel disease gene targets and treatments, and gene- and stem cell-based therapies in age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and inherited retinal degeneration.

Dr. Zhang is bilingual in Chinese and he has numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and other foundations. Dr. Zhang has published or co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed manuscripts in top journals – covering a wide range of topics in genetics, molecular biology, stem cells, and clinical trials in ophthalmology.


The Kang Zhang Laboratory is using genetics to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of macular degeneration and other eye diseases. Through a combination of clinical and laboratory research, novel genes have been identified and rapid progress toward understanding the genetics of blindness is being made.

The lab consists of numerous undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, and post-doctorate individuals, all of which are dedicated to the scientific discoveries related to molecular mechanisms of the eye.

Clinical subjects are recruited from many sources worldwide, including Israel, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Local subjects are recruited from the Shiley Eye Center and UC San Diego clinics, the Veterans Administration Hospital, and various local physicians. If you have been diagnosed with a genetic eye disease and would like to participate in our study, please Contact Us to learn more.