Jonathan H. Lin, MD, PhD
Year elected: 2018
Current membership category: Active
Stanford University
300 Pasteur Dr. L235
Palo Alto, CA 94304
United States of America
Phone: 858-534-2743

Biographical statement

Dr. Jonathan Lin is Professor of Pathology and Ophthalmology at Stanford. He is internationally recognized as an expert in the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) in human disease. His work provides significant mechanistic insights into how ER stress causes cell damage. His work established causality to human retinal degeneration and neurodegeneration diseases by identifying variants in ER stress and UPR genes in patients carrying those mutations. As a clinical fellow, Dr. Lin first discovered that the Unfolded Protein Response regulator, IRE1, determined life/death cell fates in response to ER stress. As an independent investigator, Jonathan discovered that ATF6, a key UPR regulator, caused heritable forms of vision loss diseases when mutated in patients. His group subsequently deciphered the molecular pathomechanisms caused by these mutations. Most recently, his group has explored small molecule ATF6-activating compounds as ways to rescue human mutations using stem cell-derived eyecups generated from their patients. As an independent investigator, Dr. Lin also demonstrated that genetic polymorphisms in another key regulator of the ER stress response, PERK, compromised signaling, increased neuronal vulnerability to ER stress-induced damage and tau proteinopathy, and may underlie the increased risk for neurodegeneration found in tauopathies found in patients carrying these risk PERK polymorphisms. Dr. Lin’s research establishes causality of UPR to specific human diseases and provides a scientific rationale to develop therapy through pharmacologic augmentation of the UPR, especially in patients with genetic variants in protein quality control mechanisms. Clinically, Dr. Lin is a board-certified, CA-licensed physician and directs the ophthalmic pathology service for the Stanford Hospital System, and the VA Palo Alto, and VISN22 VHA Desert-Pacific Healthcare Network. He oversees medical students, residents, clinical fellows, and visiting scholars in the review and diagnosis of diseases from patients.

Institutional affiliations

Stanford University School of Medicine (Primary)
William T. Clusin, MD, PhD is the representative at this institution.
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine (Secondary)