Dr. Chen’s research mainly focuses on defining molecular and cellular mechanisms of corneal inflammation and transplantation immunity, particularly those related to lymphatic and blood vessel formation and regulation. Not present in normal adult cornea, lymphatic and blood vessels are induced into this tissue after an inflammatory, infectious, immunogenic, traumatic, or chemical insult. These vessels enhance high volume delivery of antigens and inflammatory and immune cells, and accelerate corneal pathogenesis such as inflammation, dry eye, and transplant rejection. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the basic mechanisms underlying the pathologic vascular events and to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention. Results from our corneal studies are applicable to broad vascular diseases occurring outside the eye as well.