Dr. Ajay Sharma has received a grant from the National Eye Institute for his project, “Targeting the multicellular process of corneal regeneration and vascularization to enhance outcome of cornea transplantation”. He, alongside investigators from the University of Virginia and the Ohio State University, will test the effect of topical application of a recombinant protein Mitsugumin 53 (MG53) on enhancing the success of corneal transplants in patients with high risk of rejection.

The goal is to assess whether recombinant MG53 alone or when used in combination with the currently used immunosuppressants can enhance the outcomes of corneal transplant. The studies will also investigate the mechanism of action of MG53. Dr Sharma will be specifically involved in testing the ocular residency time, ocular penetration and ocular tolerability of a gel-based formulation of recombinant MG53.

The results of these studies can potentially pave the way for the future clinical use of this promising therapy for corneal transplant.

This is the second R01 grant that Dr. Sharma has received from the National Eye Institute, in addition an R01 that he received last year as a sole investigator.