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Jalilian Lab

Addressing the critical clinical need for therapies that can effectively promote rapid regeneration of corneal peripheral nerves and minimize vision loss in patients with corneal diseases.

Our ultimate goal is to enhance our understanding of corneal nerve regeneration and identify effective therapeutic strategies for patients with corneal diseases. By unraveling the therapeutic specificity of MSC-derived EVs and investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms, we hope to contribute to the development of novel treatments that can restore damaged corneal nerves and potentially address other neurological ocular conditions.

Two Focus Areas Heading link

Therapeutic specificity of extracellular vesicles (EVs)

We are conducting in-depth investigations into the therapeutic potential of two distinct sources of extracellular vesicles derived from bone marrow and corneal mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs). These EVs will be evaluated for their ability to promote nerve regeneration in murine corneas, both in vitro and in vivo. By studying the regenerative effects of these EVs, we aim to understand their specific impact on corneal nerves and their potential as targeted therapies.

Molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways

Additionally, our research involves an in- depth analysis of the cargo carried by the two types of MSC-derived EVs. Through transcriptomic and proteomic analyses, we aim to identify the specific components within these EVs that contribute to their neuroregenerative effects. By elucidating the molecular mechanisms and downstream signaling pathways involved in the regenerative response of nerve cells, we seek to uncover targetable molecules that can facilitate neuroregeneration in various clinical applications.

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Positions Available Heading link

Post-doctoral Fellow, PhD, Research Specialist and Visiting Scholar positions are available:

Applicants with backgrounds in cellular and molecular biology, neuroscience, biostatistics, stem cell biology, medical students and ophthalmology are preferred. Applicants who aim to visit for more than 6 months will be considered. A recently updated CV and two references are required. Source of funding should be clearly stated.

Applicants who are interested should send the CV to Dr. Jalilian ( or

Jalilian Laboratory Heading link

835 S. Wolcott Ave, 5th Floor, Room 500, Chicago, Illinois 60612