Next tier of investigations into molecular and cellular aspects of corneal nerve regeneration may lead to new therapies for blinding corneal diseases

Sandeep Jain, MD

Sandeep Jain, MD, has been awarded a $ 2.5 million R01 research grant by the National Eye Institute (NEI) for his project “Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Corneal Nerve Regeneration.”  He is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Corneal Neurobiology Laboratory.

“Dysfunction of corneal nerves is a frequent pathological feature of corneal diseases that cause opacities and result in blindness,” Dr. Jain explained. “The mechanisms responsible for corneal nerve regeneration have yet to be fully determined, and they constitute a high-priority need in the field of ophthalmology.”

Dr. Jain’s research may generate new knowledge about the little-known neuroregenerative potential of Semaphorin 7a and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the cornea.

Dr. Jain said, “Our hope is that the results of this research will aid the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating neurotrophic keratitis, a degenerative disease of the cornea’s surface layer resulting from impaired corneal nerve function, as well as dry-eye disease.”

Dr. Jain’s new investigations build upon findings from his NEI-funded K08 project,”Keratocyte Role in Guidance of Corneal Nerves.”