UNE’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences receives $1.3M dollars to study dry eye syndrome

Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences Director Ian Meng
Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences Director Ian Meng

November 22, 2016

Associate Professor of Biology Lei Lei
Associate Professor of Biology Lei Lei

Ian Meng, Ph.D., director of the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences and professor of Biomedical Sciences, recently received a new grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) titled: “Role of the nerve regeneration-associated gene Sox11 in promoting corneal innervation and epithelial cell repair in dry eye.”

Working with co-investigator Lei Lei, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology, this award will provide more than $1,300,000 in funding over the next four years to investigate the ability of neurons to help mend the injured cornea in dry eye disease.

Dry eye disease affects between 4-20% of the population, causing feelings of discomfort and pain, potentially resulting in serious vision problems. When the eye becomes dry, neurons that innervate the cornea become damaged.

Meng’s new research will examine the changes that occur in these damaged neurons and determine how they promote corneal healing. Ultimately, the goal of the study is to aid in the discovery of new or more effective therapies for the treatment of dry eye. Meng is also the Principle Investigator of the NIH supported Center for Biomedical Research Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function.  

To learn more about the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, visit www.une.edu/research/cen

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

Groups audience: