DoctorsIsaac Asante, PhD

Isaac Asante, PhD

Isaac Asante, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Research Ophthalmology

Department: Ophthalmology

Clinical Specialty: Degenerative Neurological Diseases, Tissue Regeneration, Ophthalmological Disorders, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Research Topics:

Corneal regeneration
Ocular Laser Interventions
Drug Delivery Devices
Small Molecules for Retinal Diseases
Biomarkers for Ophthalmic Diseases
Neurodegenerative circuitry and functional dysregulation
Functional connectomics

Biography and Education


Isaac Asante, PhD, is a translational scientist who combines expertise from pharmacology, metabolomics/lipidomics, and biomedical engineering to develop novel interventions for inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Asante has conducted preclinical and clinical development of novel interventions that have had an impact on millions of lives across the world. Early in his research career, he partnered with industry to produce the maiden malaria vaccine. Later, he focused his efforts on using novel biomarkers for cancer and other inflammatory conditions. He researched the role of folate one-carbon metabolism in patients who developed colorectal cancer, reviewed a previously unknown metabolic pathway. Most recently, he used a novel renin-angiotensin system (RAS) metabolomics to probe mechanistic processes that underlie various inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, he was able to develop and validate a lipidomic test that can serve as an accurate “liquid biopsy” of patients with inflammatory and neurodegeneration. These “omics” developments were able to guide intervention development and differentiate various types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, and traumatic brain injury. His efforts have spanned from developing interventions for traumatic brain injury to developing novel therapeutics to address ophthalmic regeneration of cornea and preservation of the retina. Dr. Asante also develops biomarkers and models them into predictive algorithms for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic monitoring. Such models have been used in acute respiratory distress syndrome and colorectal cancer. Dr. Asante joined the USC Roski Eye institute in 2020, as an Assistant Professor of Research.

Research Interests:

Dr. Asante’s primary research interest is to develop biomarkers and interventions for inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions using metabolomics as a tool for probing the pathophysiology and pharmacologic response in biological systems.


  • BPharm, University of Science and Technology, Ghana, 2005
  • Master’s in Business Administration, University of Science and Technology, Ghana, 2010
  • Master’s in Health Professions Education, Maastricht University, Netherlands, 2014
  • Master’s in Drug Regulation and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2015
  • PhD, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2017
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2020



  • Institutional Research Grant, Kintampo Health Research Center, Kintampo, Ghana, 2011
  • Travel Grant, Forum on Microbial Infections, New Delhi, India, 2011
  • Travel Grant, USC School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, 2014
  • Travel Grant, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Florida, 2015
  • Third Prize Award, USC School of Pharmacy, 2015
  • Dean’s Innovation Award, USC School of Pharmacy, 2017


  1. Agnandji ST, Lell B, Soulanoudjingar SS, Fernandes JF, …, Dosoo D, Asante I, …, Vansadia P. First results of phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in African children. N Engl J Med. 2011 Nov 17;365(20):1863-75. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1102287. Epub 2011 Oct 18. PubMed PMID: 22007715.
  2. Agnandji ST, Lell B, Fernandes JF, Abossolo BP, Methogo BG, …, Asante I, … Sillman M, Vansadia P. A phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in African infants. N Engl J Med. 2012 Dec 13;367(24):2284-95. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1208394. Epub 2012 Nov 9. PubMed PMID: 23136909.
  3. Agnandji, S. T., Lell, B., Fernandes, J. F., Abossolo, B. P., Methogo, B. G., Kabwende, A. L., Asante I. ,… & Slutsker, L. Efficacy and safety of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine with or without a booster dose in infants and children in Africa: final results of a phase 3, individually randomised, controlled trial. Lancet. 2015 Jul 4;386(9988):31-45. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60721-8. Epub 2015 Apr 23. PubMed PMID: 25913272
  4. Tivura M, Asante I, van Wyk A, Gyaase S, Malik N, Mahama E, Hostetler DM, Fernandez FM, Asante KP, Kaur H, Owusu-Agyei S. Quality of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy for malaria found in Ghanaian markets and public health implications of their use. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2016 Oct 28;17(1):48. doi: 10.1186/s40360-016-0089-2. PubMed PMID: 27788677
  5. Asante I, Andoh I, Muijtjens AMM, Donkers J. Stakeholders’ perceptions on competency and assessment program of entry-level pharmacists in developing countries. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2017 May;9(3):360-368. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2017.02.007. Epub 2017 May 25. PubMed PMID: 29233272.
  6. Asante I, Pei H, Zhou E, Liu S, Chui D, Yoo E, Louie SG. Simultaneous quantitation of folates, flavins and B6 metabolites in human plasma by LC-MS/MS assay: Applications in colorectal cancer. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2018 Sep 5;158:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2018.05.030. Epub 2018 May 22. PubMed PMID: 29860180
  7. Asante I, Pei H, Zhou E, Liu S, Chui D, Yoo E, Conti DV, Louie SG. Exploratory metabolomic study to identify blood-based biomarkers as a potential screen for colorectal cancer. Mol Omics. 2019 Feb 11;15(1):21-29. doi: 10.1039/c8mo00158h. PubMed PMID: 30515501
  8. Reddy R**, Asante I**, Liu S, Parikh P, Liebler J, Borok Z, Rodgers K, Baydur A, Louie SG. Circulating angiotensin peptides levels in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome correlate with clinical outcomes: A pilot study. PLoS One. 2019;14(3):e0213096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213096. eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 30845246
  9. Asante I, Chui D, Pei H, Zhou E, De Giovanni C, Conti D, Louie S. Alterations in folate-dependent one-carbon metabolism as colon cell transition from normal to cancerous. J Nutr Biochem. 2019 Jul;69:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.02.008. Epub 2019 Mar 12. PubMed PMID: 31035100
  10. Nanayakkara DD, Sun X, Morris S, Louie S, Mulligan K, Overton T, Asante I, Corado K, Jain S, Dubé MP. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Bone Turnover Markers During HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Using Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate-Emtricitabine in Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2019 Jul;35(7):608-614. doi: 10.1089/AID.2018.0280. Epub 2019 May 8. PubMed PMID: 30907095
  11. Wang J, Asante I, Baron JA, Figueiredo JC, Haile R, Joan Levine A, Newcomb PA, Templeton AS, Schumacher FR, Louie SG, Casey G, Conti DV. Genome-wide association study of circulating folate one-carbon metabolites. Genet Epidemiol. 2019 Dec;43(8):1030-1045. doi: 10.1002/gepi.22249. Epub 2019 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 31502714
  12. Peng C, Wang J, Asante I, Louie S, Jin R, Chatzi L, Casey G, Thomas DC, Conti DV. A latent unknown clustering integrating multi-omics data (LUCID) with phenotypic traits. Bioinformatics. 2020 Feb 1;36(3):842-850. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btz667. PubMed PMID: 31504184
  13. Black CE, Zhou E, DeAngelo C, Asante I, Yang R, Petasis NA, Louie SG, Humayun M. Cyanine Nanocage Activated by Near-IR Light for the Targeted Delivery of Cyclosporine A to Traumatic Brain Injury Sites. Mol Pharm. 2020 Sep 2;. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.0c00589. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32813533
  14. Black CE, Zhou E, DeAngelo CM, Asante I, Louie SG, Petasis NA, Humayun MS. Cyanine Nanocages Activated by Near-Infrared Light for the Targeted Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury. Front Chem. 2020;8:769. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2020.00769. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 33062635