Photo of Prof Luminita Paraoan

Prof Luminita Paraoan PhD

Professor Eye and Vision Science


Personal Statement

Professor Luminita Paraoan leads the Ocular Molecular Biology and Mechanisms of Disease Group in the Department of Eye and Vision Science, in the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease of the University of Liverpool, UK. Earlier in her career, Luminita graduated as Valedictorian from Faculty of Chemistry/Biochemistry, University of Bucharest, Romania, was then a Fulbright Research Scholar at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA and a Wellcome Trust Prize Scholar in The Department of Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, UK. Luminita developed her career as a Wellcome Trust Prize Fellow at The University of Liverpool where she joined the Faculty of Medicine in 2001 and developed her research interests in the area of gene expression and regulation in retinal pigment epithelial cells and other ocular pigmented cells, with particular emphasis on processes such as proteolysis, apoptosis, cellular signalling, extracellular matrix and intracellular trafficking. By studying these processes the researchers in the Paraoan group have identified and characterised molecular determinants of normal physiological and pathological states of specific eye tissues. The studies have implications for ocular and neurodegenerative diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, proliferative pathology and cancer.

Personal Distinctions

  • Invited talk, Distinguished Seminar Series (Invitation to Speak, Saitama Medical School, Japan 2018)
  • Main ARVO Symposium Organizer 2018, Hawaii, USA (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2018)
  • Chair, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Section, AMPC, ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2018)
  • Invited Lecture, Cystatin C in the regulation of proteostasis in RPE cells (Invitation to Speak, ISER Biennial Meeting, Belfast, UK, September 2018 2018)
  • Invited Lecture, Perturbing proteostasis in AMD and Alzheimer’s Disease: cystatin C scenario (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL, London, UK 2018)
  • Retinal Cell Biology Co-Lead, ISER Biennial Meeting 2018, Belfast, UK (International Society of Eye Research 2018)
  • Invited Speaker, PERP-ing into survival or death decisions of the cells: insights from uveal melanoma (Invitation to Speak, School of Medicine St James’s Campus University of Leeds 2017)
  • Elected Member Annual Meeting Programme Committee, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Section (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2016)
  • Keynote Speaker, A Matter of Life and Death: balancing p53 effectors through expression, localisation and partner interactions (Keynote Speech, Thai Society for Microcirculation, Bangkok, Thailand 2016)
  • Member Retina Research Foundation Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research Prize Committee (ISER Council 2014)
  • Age-Related Impaired Trafficking of the Major RPE Proteolysis Regulator Cystatin C (Invitation to Speak, ISER XXII Meeting, Tokyo, Japan 2016)
  • Chair and organizer, Regulation of RPE proteostasis session (XXII Biennial Meeting of The International Society of Eye Research, Tokyo, Japan 2016)
  • Age-related changes of RPE-expressed cysteine proteinase inhibitor cystatin C: implications for AMD pathogenesis (Invitation to Speak, European Association for Eye and Vision Research, EVER 2016, Nice, France 2016)
  • Invited international guest lecture, Advancing the understanding of fundamental biological processes in ocular diseases: tales of the unexpected (Invitation to Speak, Mahidol University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bangkok, Thailand 2015)
  • Invited lecture, Studying molecular mechanisms of common eye diseases (Invitation to Speak, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand 2015)
  • Invited lecture, Perp-ing into cell death (Invitation to Speak, University of Cork, Department of Biochemistry, Cork, Ireland 2015)
  • Invited international research seminar, How does RPE-expressed cystatin C contribute to AMD development? (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Medicine A*STAR and Singapore Eye Research Institute 2015)
  • Invited lecture/international guest seminar, Involvement of regulators of proteolysis in AMD pathogenesis: impaired extracellular activity, intracellular mislocalisation or both? (Invitation to Speak, University of Eastern Finland, School of Medicine and Department of Ophthalmology, Kuopio, Finland 2014)
  • Invited lecture, Milestones of intracellular trafficking in the retinal pigment epithelium: re-routing towards age-related macular degeneration (Invitation to Speak, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Department of Biochemistry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2014)
  • Moderator Retina/RPE Molecular Biology session (ARVO Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Section 2014)
  • Invited lecture Novel Insights into Regulation of Apoptosis in Uveal Melanoma: PERP-p53 Pathway (Invitation to Speak, BIT's 7th World Cancer Congress 2014)
  • Appointed Member of ARVO Publications Committee (ARVO 2014)
  • Chair of symposium, World Cancer Congress (BIT 7th World Cancer Congress 2014)
  • Inaugural Lecture, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya (Invitation to Speak, UMERC University of Malaya 2013)
  • Keynote lecture, Emerging methods for eye and vision research (Keynote Speech, IOBA, University of Valladolid, Spain 2013)
  • Acting Chair, Internatinal Society for Eye Research Communication Committee (ISER 2013)
  • Honorary International Professor (IOBA, University of Valladolid 2013)
  • International Guest Speaker, Salamanca Center for Cancer Research (Invitation to Speak, Center for Cancer research, University of Salamanca 2013)
  • Visiting Professor University of Malaya (UMERC University of Malaya 2013)
  • Moderator RPE/Retina Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Session (ARVO Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Section 2012)
  • European representative ISER Communication Committee (International Society for Eye Research 2012)
  • Organizer and Chair of session XX Meeting International Society for Eye Research (International Society for Eye Research 2012)
  • Invited speaker University of Bradford (Invitation to Speak, School of Life Sciences, University of Bradford 2012)
  • Honorary Professor European Master in Science Degree in Visual Sciences Research (Institute of Applied Ophthalmology, University of Valladolid, Spain 2012)
  • Invited guest speaker Master in Architecture course (Invitation to Speak, University of Liverpool 2012)
  • Invited speaker IOBA, University of Valladolid (IOBA, University of Valladollid, Spain 2012)
  • Chair and session organizer XX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research (ISER Retinal Cell Biology Section 2012)
  • Invited speaker ISER 2012 (Invitation to Speak, XX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research 2012)
  • From basic science to applied ophthalmic research in Liverpool (Singapore Eye Institute 2011)
  • Applications of DNA cloning and transfection methods in the study of ocular cells of (Invitation to Speak, IOBA, Spain 2011)
  • Co-Chair of session, Medical Research on Major Cancer, BIT's 4th Annual World Cancer Congress (BIT's 4th Annual World Cancer Congress 2011)
  • Studying the biology of retinal pigment epithelium: routes from patients to genes and back (Invitation to Speak, Royal Wolverhampton Hopsitals NHS Trust 2011)
  • Invited speaker PERP and twist: novel regulatory loop in the apoptosis of ocular pigmented cells (Invitation to Speak, IOBA, University of Valladolid 2011)
  • Novel apoptosis effector PERP: Expression, Regulation and Function in Uveal Melanoma (Invitation to Speak, BIT's 4th Annual World Cancer Congress, China 2011)
  • Ambassador (Ambassador Programme Liverpool City Region 2011)
  • Session Organizer (International Society for Eye Research 2011)
  • Honorary Professor European Master Programme (IOBA, University of Valladolid, Spain 2011)
  • AgeUK radio broadcast and podcast (Invitation to Speak, AgeUK 2011)
  • Is age-related macular degeneration a mistrafficking disease? The cystatin C scenario (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool 2011)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (The Higher Education Academy 2010)
  • Keynote speaker West Midlands Deanery Royal College of Ophthalmologists' Midlands Annual Symposium (Invitation to Speak, West Midlands Deanery Retina and Uveitis Fellows 2010)
  • Organizer and Chair of Session RPE Proteolysis: Regulation and Relationship to Retinal Disorders (International Society for Eye Research 2010)
  • Chair and session organizer XIX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research (XIX Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research 2010)
  • Invited speaker Amsler Club Meeting 2010 (Amsler Club Meeting 2010, Nottingham, UK 2010)
  • Honorary Professor European Master Programme (IOBA, University of Valladolid 2010)
  • Cystatin C and its variant B (ARMD11) in RPE cells: functional consequences of impaired trafficking (Invitation to Speak, International Society for Eye Research 2010)
  • Invited speaker XIX ISER Meeting (Invitation to Speak, ISER 2010)
  • Invited speaker Institute for Applied Ophthalmology, Spain (Invitation to Speak, IOBA, Valladolid, Spain 2010)
  • Invited speaker AgeUK Chester Regional Branch (Invitation to Speak, AgeUK Chester Regional Branch 2010)
  • Invited Lecturer European Programme for Master Degree in Research Training in Visual Sciences, IOBA (European Programme for Master Degree in Research Training in Visual Sciences, IOBA University of Valladolid, Spain 2009)
  • Distinction for Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (University of Liverpool 2009)
  • Variant B Cystatin C and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Potential Contribution of ImpairedTraffic (Invitation to Speak, Young Investigator Award International Society for Eye Research 2008)
  • Apoptotic pathways mediated by novel p53 effector PERP (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Science 2008)
  • Further Perp-ing into uveal melanoma apoptosis (Invitation to Speak, NWCRF 2008)
  • PERP-ing into apoptosis mechanisms in cancer: insights from uveal melanoma (Invitation to Speak, International Cell Death Society 2008)
  • Young Investigator Fellowship Award (International Society for Eye Research 2008)
  • Perp-ing into ocular melanoma:apoptosis effector downregulated in the aggressive tumours (Invitation to Speak, NWCRF 2006 Scientific Symposium, Liverpool, UK 2006)
  • Is AMD a consequence of impaired trafficking of extracellular matrix proteins?The case of cystatin C (Invitation to Speak, Vision Research 2006 Conference, National Eye Research Centre, Bristol, UK 2006)
  • Cystatin C and the secretory pathway: studies on the retinal pigment epithelium of the eye (Invitation to Speak, Royal Society 2004)

Administrative Roles

  • Chair and Academic Lead, Equality, Diversity and Wellbeing Committee (EDWInA)
  • Chair, Institute Regulatory Affairs Committee IACD
  • Chair, Biological Safety Committee, IACD
  • Group Leader, Ocular Molecular Biology and Mechanisms of Disease
  • Academic Lead Health and Safety, IACD

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