Christhian Ildefonso, Ph.D.


Academic Title

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

352-273-8786 (Office)
352-273-5083 (Lab)






Dr. Ildefonso received his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico in 2005, and his Ph.D. in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 2011. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University Of Florida College Of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Alfred S. Lewin.

Research Interests

Dr. Ildefonso interest focuses on understanding the role of the ocular immunology in neurodegenerative diseases such as uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. The translational emphasis of his research is retina neurodegeneration and to target it using adeno-associated viral vectors delivering anti-inflammatory or antioxidant genes.


  • Ahmed CM, Biswal MR, Li H, Han P, Ildefonso CJ, Lewin AS. Repurposing an orally available drug for the treatment of geographic atrophy. Mol Vis. 2016 Apr 2;22:294-310. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27110092; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4818958.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Jaime H, Brown EE, Iwata RL, Ahmed CM, Massengill MT, Biswal MR, Boye SE, Hauswirth WW, Ash JD, Li Q, Lewin AS. Targeting the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway in the Retina With a Gene-Delivered Secretable and Cell-Penetrating Peptide. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Feb;57(2):372-86. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-17703. PubMed PMID: 26842755.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Biswal MR, Ahmed CM, Lewin AS. The NLRP3 Inflammasome and its Role in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;854:59-65. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_9. Review. PubMed PMID: 26427394.
  • Biswal MR, Ildefonso CJ, Mao H, Seo SJ, Wang Z, Li H, Le YZ, Lewin AS. Conditional Induction of Oxidative Stress in RPE: A Mouse Model of Progressive Retinal Degeneration. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;854:31-7. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17121-0_5. PubMed PMID: 26427390.
  • Biswal MR, Ahmed CM, Ildefonso CJ, Han P, Li H, Jivanji H, Mao H, Lewin AS. Systemic treatment with a 5HT1a agonist induces anti-oxidant protection and preserves the retina from mitochondrial oxidative stress. Exp Eye Res. 2015 Nov;140:94-105. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.07.022. Epub 2015 Aug 25. PubMed PMID: 26315784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4624518.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Jaime H, Biswal MR, Boye SE, Li Q, Hauswirth WW, Lewin AS. Gene therapy with the caspase activation and recruitment domain reduces the ocular inflammatory response. Mol Ther. 2015 May;23(5):875-84. doi: 10.1038/mt.2015.30. Epub 2015 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 25698151; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4427880.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Jaime H, Rahman MM, Li Q, Boye SE, Hauswirth WW, Lucas AR, McFadden G, Lewin AS. Gene delivery of a viral anti-inflammatory protein to combat ocular inflammation. Hum Gene Ther. 2015 Jan;26(1):59-68. doi: 10.1089/hum.2014.089. PubMed PMID: 25420215; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4303190.
  • Wang ZY, Zhao K, Zheng J, Rossmiller B, Ildefonso C, Biswal M, Zhao PQ. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between complement factor H I62V polymorphism and risk of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Asian populations. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2):e88324. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088324. eCollection 2014. Review. PubMed PMID: 24520367; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3919738.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Bond WS, Al-Tawashi AR, Hurwitz MY, Hurwitz RL. The liberation of CD44 intracellular domain modulates adenoviral vector transgene expression. J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 21;287(39):32697-707. Epub 2012 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 22865879; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3463356.
  • Ildefonso CJ, Kong L, Leen A, Chai SJ, Petrochelli V, Chintagumpala M, Hurwitz MY, Chévez-Barrios P, Hurwitz RL. Absence of systemic immune response to adenovectors after intraocular administration to children with retinoblastoma. Mol Ther. 2010 Oct;18(10):1885-90. doi: 10.1038/mt.2010.139. Epub 2010 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 20606647; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2951557.
  • Lugo-Chinchilla AM, Báez D, Vélez M, Ildefonso C, Renaud FL. Altered subcellular signaling in murine peritoneal macrophages upon chronic morphine exposure. J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Jul;176(1-2):86-94. Epub 2006 Jun 5. PubMed PMID: 16750574.