Dry eye disease is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by impaired tear film homeostasis accompanied by ocular symptoms that affects approximately 6.8% of adults in the USA, with a global prevalence as high as 50%. Despite this significant disease burden, there are currently just four FDA-approved therapies for dry eye disease, each targeting only the inflammatory pathway and having limited efficacy. Dr. Pasricha's research will advance novel dry eye disease therapeutics that promote tear fluid secretion by targeting ion transport proteins on epithelial cells lining the ocular surface.
This research utilizes a novel ocular surface potential difference (OSPD) method introduced in animal studies and advanced for use in humans during Dr. Pasricha's residency at UCSF. OSPD measures the electrical potential difference generated across epithelia from apical and basal membrane ion transporters.