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Photo of Sarkar, Joy

Joy Sarkar, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Associate Director, Cell and Molecular Biology Core Module

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Dr. Sarkar has extensive research experience in the field of Cellular and Molecular Biology. His postdoctoral training at Northwestern University was focused on studying the role of nuclear receptor co-activator signaling and transcriptional regulation in xenobiotic metabolism. Dr. Sarkar joined the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, UIC Department of Ophthalmology in 2010 as a Research Associate. His research involved elucidating microRNA-mediated regulation of cell proliferation and migration in hypoxia. Dr. Sarkar’s current research is focused on understanding the molecular & cellular aspects of corneal nerve regeneration via myeloid- derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and innate immune mechanisms involved in dry eye disease via neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). His work has resulted in several publications in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS). Dr. Sarkar has significant teaching experience having taught and mentored undergraduate pharmacy students, medical residents and clinical fellows at Northwestern and UIC and is an invited expert reviewer for several scientific journals including IOVS, PLOS ONE, Current Drug Metabolism, and Physiological Research. Dr. Sarkar joined the IEEI faculty in 2013.

Cellular & Molecular Aspects of Dry Eye Disease
Corneal Nerve Regeneration after Injury
Angiogenesis, Neurogenesis & Regenerative Medicine
Innate Immune Regulatory Mechanisms in Eye Disease

Selected Publications

  • Sarkar J, Chaudhary S, Jain S et al. Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Secrete NGF & Promote Trigeminal Ganglion Neurite Growth: Implications for Corneal Nerve Regeneration Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Sep 3; 54 (9):5920-36.
  • Tibrewal S, Sarkar J, Jain S et al. Tear Fluid eDNA Abundance Assay: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Implications in Dry Eye Disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 11; 54
  • Sarkar J, Chaudhary S, Jain S et al. Corneal neurotoxicity due to topical benzalkonium chloride. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Apr 6;53(4):1792-802.
  • Singh DK, Sarkar J (Equal contribution 1st Author), Raj JU et al. Hypoxia modulates the expression of leucine zipper-positive MYPT1 and its interaction with Protein kinase G
    and Rho kinases in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Pulm Circ. 2011 Oct; 1(4):487-98.
  • Sarkar J (Corresponding Author), Raj JU et al. miR-21 plays a role in hypoxia-mediated pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation & migration. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2010 Dec; 299:L861-71.
  • Guo D, Sarkar J, Reddy JK et al. Induction of nuclear translocation of constitutive androstane receptor by PPAR-alpha synthetic ligands in mouse liver. J Biol Chem. 2007
    Dec 14; 282 (50):36766-76.
  • Sarkar J, Qi C, Reddy JK et al. Transcription coactivator PRIP, the PPAR-interacting protein, is redundant for the function of nuclear receptors PPAR-alpha and CAR in
    mouse liver. Gene Expr. 2007; 13: 255-69.
  • Jia Y, Guo GL, Surapureddi S, Sarkar J, Reddy JK et al. Transcription coactivator peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor binding protein / mediator 1 deficiency abrogates acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 30;102 (35):12531-6.
  • Marita A, Sarkar J, Rane S. Type 2 diabetes in non-obese Indian subjects is associated with reduced leptin levels: study from Mumbai, Western India. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005
    Jul; 275 (1-2):143-51.


MS in Microbiology: University of Mumbai, India
PhD in Biochemistry: H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital Research Center, University of Mumbai,
Research Fellowship in Cellular and Molecular Biology: Northwestern University
Research Fellowship in Cellular and Molecular Biology: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research