ABCB5 is a limbal stem cell gene required for corneal development and repair
Dr. Bruce Ksander received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Illinois while studying the immune response to herpes keratitis in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Hendricks at the Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary. His postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. J Wayne Streilein at the University of Miami Medical School and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida where he studied the immune mechanisms that regulate ocular immune privilege to corneal allografts and intraocular tumors. Dr. Ksander is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute / Mass Eye & Ear. He conducts research in three main areas: (i) Understanding the function of inflammation in the Fas/FasL signaling pathway during the development of glaucoma, (ii) understanding the function of microglia and infiltrating macrophages in the development of age related macular degeneration, and (iii) restoration of the corneal epithelium using limbal stem cells.
In this talk, Dr. Ksander will focus on the ABCB5 gene. This gene is a new member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of active transporters and is expressed by stem cells in both mouse and human limbus. Normal function of ABCB5 positive limbal stem cells is required for corneal development and repair, through critical roles in stem cell maintenance and survival, and knockout mice that lack ABCB5 did not develop a fully differentiated mature corneal epithelium.