Sophie X. Deng, MD, PhD
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Sophie X. Deng, MD, PhD

  • Cornea and External Diseases
Doris Stein Eye Research Center | 200 Stein Plaza Doris Stein 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Link to Dr. Deng's complete CV >

Dr. Sophie X. Deng is a Professor and Co-Chief of Cornea and Uveitis Division at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute. Dr. Deng received her doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy degrees at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York, where she completed the rigorous Medical Scientist Training Program. She did her residency in ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago. Dr. Deng subsequently completed her fellowship in Cornea, External Ocular Disease and Refractive Surgery at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute.

Dr. Deng is a specialist in corneal and external ocular diseases, and cataracts. Her surgical areas include endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK and DMEK), deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), penetrating keratoplasty, limbal stem cell transplantation, artificial cornea and cataract.

Dr. Deng is the director of the Cornea Biology Laboratory at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute. Her research focuses on corneal epithelial stem cells regulation, deficiency and regeneration. Dr. Deng’s research aims to improve the current treatment for patients with limbal stem cell deficiency by using stem cell therapy to restore vision. In addition, Dr. Deng conducts clinical studies to develop new imaging and molecular tests to accurately diagnose and stage limbal stem cell deficiency.


English, Chinese - Mandarin, Chinese - Cantonese


Medical Board Certification

Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, 2006


Cornea, UCLA School of Medicine, 2006


Ophthalmology, University of Illinois at Chicago Eye Center, 2005


Internal Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 2002


MD, PhD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2001


Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center



  1. Sophie X Deng, Aurelie Dos Santos, Serina Gee. Therapeutic Potential of Extracellular Vesicles for the Treatment of Corneal Injuries and Scars. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2020 Nov 2. ;9(12):1, eCollection 2020 Nov
  2. Lee Lenis, T., Zhang, W., Shibayama, V., Al-Hashimi, S., Aldave, A., Deng, S., Fung, S. Mulitmodal Corneal Imaging of Genetically Confirmed Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness Syndrome. Cornea. 2020 Nov;39(11);1446-1449
  3. Clemence Bonnet, Parsia Vazirnia, Sophie X Deng, Anthony J Aldave, Kevin M Miller. Sutured Custom Foldable Silicone Artificial Iris Implantation Combined With Intraocular Lens Implantation and Penetrating Keratoplasty: Safety and Efficacy Outcomes. Cornea. 2020 Oct 21, Online ahead of Print.
  4. Sophie X Deng, Friedrich Kruse, José A P Gomes, Clara C Chan, Sheraz Daya, Reza Dana, Francisco C Figueiredo, Shigeru Kinoshita, Paolo Rama, Virender Sangwan, Allan R Slomovic, Donald Tan, International Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Working Group. Global Consensus on the Management of Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency. Cornea. 2020 Oct;39(10):1291-1302
  5. Raquel Hernáez-Moya, Sheyla González, Arantza Urkaregi, Jose Ignacio Pijoan, Sophie X Deng, Noelia Andollo. Expansion of Human Limbal Epithelial Stem/Progenitor Cells Using Different Human Sera: A Multivariate Statistical Analysis. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Aug 25;21(17):6132
  6. Sheyla González, Maximilian Halabi, David Ju, Matthew Tsai, Sophie X Deng. Role of Jagged1-mediated Notch Signaling Activation in the Differentiation and Stratification of the Human Limbal Epithelium. Cells. 2020 Aug 22;9(9):1945
  7. Bonnet, C., Ghaffari, R., Alkadi, T., Law, S., Caprioli, J., Yu, F., Deng, S. Long-term outcomes of Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty in eyes with prior glaucoma surgery. Am J Ophthalmol. 2020 Oct;218:288-295, Epub 2020 Jun 30
  8. Zhang, C., Mei, H., Robertson, S., Lee, H., Deng, S.*, Zheng, J. A Small-Molecule Wnt Mimic Improves Human Limbal Stem Cell Ex Vivo Expansion. iScience. 2020 May 22;23(5):101075, Epub 2020 April 18 (*co-corresponding author)
  9. Le, Q., Chauhan, T., Yung, M., Tseng, C., Deng, S. Outcomes of Limbal Stem Cell Transplant: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020 Jun 1;138(6):660-670
  10. Liang, Q., Le, Q., Cordova, D., Tseng, C., Deng, S. Corneal Epithelial Thickness Measured Using AS-OCT as a Diagnostic Parameter for Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency. Am J Ophthalmol. 2020 Apr 10;216:132-139, Epub 2020 Apr 10

In the News

Two postdoctoral positions are available at Dr. Sophie Deng’s Laboratory, Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles to study corneal stem cells with an emphasis on translational application and therapeutic development. One primarily focuses on Wnt signaling and Notch signaling in the regulation of human limbal epithelial stem cells. The other focuses on the characterization of exosomes derived from stem cells and explore their therapeutic role in the treatment of corneal diseases.


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