Center/Research Area Affiliations
Dr. Ksander conducts research in two main areas: (1) regulation of ocular innate immune-mediated inflammation during the development of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, with specific attention on the function of resident retinal microglia and infiltrating monocyte/macrophages; and (2) regeneration of the corneal epithelium by limbal stem cells. One important challenge in regenerative medicine is replacing stem cells when they are eliminated following an injury or disease. With his lab, Dr. Ksander determined that the ABCB5 gene, a new member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of active transporters, is expressed on adult limbal stem cells that are capable of regenerating corneal epithelium. Importantly, ABCB5 is a cell surface protein that can be used to purify ABCB5 cells from the limbus. This provides him with a unique opportunity to study the regenerative mechanisms of adult limbal stem cells and develop new methods to restore this specialized epithelium in eyes with a limbal stem cell deficiency.