Daniel Sun, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Instructor in Ophthalmology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear


Research Summary


Dr. Sun is a scientist who specializes in understanding the mechanism of glaucoma-related nerve degeneration. He is especially interested in the role of supporting cells (called astrocytes). Using imaging and molecular techniques, his research focuses on how astrocytes in the optic nerve change in glaucoma, with the goal of determining whether it is better to enhance or reduce certain aspects of their activity during the disease.


M.S., Optometry, University of Melbourne, Australia (2002)
Ph.D., Optometry, University of Melbourne, Australia (2007)

Postgraduate Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Astrocyte Biology, Mass General Hospital (2007-2009)
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Astrocyte Biology, Mass. Eye and Ear (2009-2012)


Selected Publications

Dr. Sun has published more than 15 peer-reviewed articles. View his publications on PubMed.

  1. Sun D, Qu J, Jakobs T. Reversible reactivity by optic nerve astrocytes. Glia. 2013;61:1218-1235.
  2. Kalloniatis M, Loh CS, Acosta ML, Tomisich G, Zhu Y, Nivison-Smith L, Fletcher EL, Chua J, Sun D, Arunthavasothy N. Retinal amino acid neurochemistry in health and disease. Clin Exp Optom. 2013 May;2013;7:1-18.
  3. Lye-Barthel M, Sun D, Jakobs T. Morphology of astrocytes in a glaucomatous optic nerve. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:909-917.
  4. Nivison-Smith L, Sun D, Fletcher EL, Marc RE, Kalloniatis M. Mapping kainate activation of inner neurons in the rat retina. J Comp Neurol. 2013;521:2416-2438.
  5. Sun D, Jakobs T. Structural remodeling of astrocytes in the injured CNS. Neuroscientist. 2012;18:567-588.