Immune and Inflammation Biology
It is long known that eye is an immune privileged organ in the human body. It was believed to be a defence mechanism rendered to protect the eye from the deleterious effects of either homeostatic or uncontrolled inflammatory / immune responses. Previously, it was assumed that immune privilege is maintained by preventing the entry of immune cells into the site. However, more recently it is accepted that the immune privilege of the eye is maintained by selective immunomodulation and not by general immunosuppression. Nonetheless, this immune barrier/balance is often compromised resulting in a variety of ocular diseases resulting in temporary or permanent loss of vision. Hence, our research focus is to understand the similarities and differences in the inflammatory/immune responses of the eye and elsewhere in the human body. This would enable us to harness these site specific immune mechanisms to develop novel strategies to manage immune-mediated pathologies of the eye. Currently, we are studying the inflammatory and immune mechanisms underlying corneal conditions (dry eye disease, keratoconus), retinal disorders (Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt's disease, Retinopathy of prematurity, Retinitis Pigmentosa) and other immune mediated eye diseases. Our efforts will contribute to the ocular immunology knowledgebase.