Jianjie Ma, PhD, Awarded $3.4 Million to Develop a Novel Protein Therapeutic to Improve High-Risk Corneal Transplantation

June 11, 2024 by

Jianjie Ma UVA

Jianjie Ma, PhD

Jianjie Ma, PhD, the William H. Muller Professor of Thoracic Surgery and director of the Division of Surgical Sciences in the Department of Surgery, was awarded a $3.4 million NIH grant for a project titled “Targeting the Multicellular Process of Corneal Regeneration and Vascularization to Enhance Outcome of Corneal Transplantation.”

Corneal transplants are typically successful in low-risk allograft recipients. However, a vascularized or inflamed host bed is considered high-risk and results in significant increases in graft rejection rates. Ideally, increasing corneal transplantation success will involve mitigating the inflammatory and vascularization response, as well as promoting the regenerative capacity during the healing process. This project aims to develop a novel protein therapeutic – MG53, a protein with multi-cellular functions in tissue-repair and regeneration, to enhance the outcome of high-risk corneal transplantations.

Collaborators on the project include Ajay Sharma, PhD, at Chapman University; Heather Chandler, PhD, and Hua Zhu, PhD, at The Ohio State University; and Ki Ho Park, PhD, and Chengli Shen, MD, PhD, at the University of Virginia.

Learn more about the Ma Lab, which focuses on regenerative medicine, aging biology, Alzheimer’s disease, and therapeutic development.

Filed Under: Research