Dr. Raghunathan received his first degree in Biomedical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India, and subsequently his M.Sc and Ph.D in Bioengineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol, UK investigating the safety of tribological wear released from orthopaedic implants. He then made his foray into vision science by completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Davis, jointly in Drs. Chris Murphy and Paul Russell’s laboratories, investigating the principles underlying the mechanobiology of the trabecular meshwork and cornea.
The primary goals of my research program are: (a) to understand the role that extracellular matrix play in ocular diseases, (b) to develop and utilize engineering tools in studying biomechanics and surface phenomena at the ocular surface interface, and (c) to use materials based strategies for development and delivery of therapeutics.
Rachel Redfern received her bachelor's degree in biology from Texas A&M University and then her OD/PhD from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. In 2006, Dr. Redfern received the Institutional Ruth Kirschstein National Research Post-doctorate Award and the ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. Dr. Redfern is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society. She is also a past William C. Ezell Fellow.
Her laboratory is interested in ocular surface inflammation/infection, the impact of contact lenses (e.g. scleral gas permeable lenses) on normal and diseased eyes and the functional and anatomical changes that occurs in the meibomian glands with age and disease. They perform human subject, animal and in vitro studies. Dr. Redfern’s laboratory is NIH funded to examine the impact of toll-like receptors on the production of damaging cytokines and matrix metalloproteases and beneficial antimicrobial peptides on the ocular surface.
Dr. Reins received her bachelor's degree in biology from Baylor University and then did graduate work in Immunology at Boston University before receiving for Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Houston. She has over 12 years' experience in ocular surface research, with a focus on vitamin D's function in the cornea, particularly during inflammation, corneal wound healing, and innate immune defense. Dr. Reins is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry, the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society, and also is a two-time William C. Ezell Fellow.
Vitamin D is a natural, multifunctional hormone that is known to play a significant role in immune system regulation, protecting against chronic inflammation. Increasing evidence shows that vitamin D plays a protective role in maintaining eye health. However, its function, bioavailability, and immunomodulatory capacity at the ocular surface need to be investigated. The goal of my research is to determine the efficacy of vitamin D as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of inflammatory eye conditions, such as dry eye, and to characterize vitamin D’s bioavailability and function at the ocular surface and in the tear film.