Neel Pasricha

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Job Description

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.

The goal of Pasricha’s research is to discover and develop new drugs for increasing tear production. To that end, he uses ocular surface electrophysiology (measuring electrical changes in the tear film that covers the eye’s surface) to study ion transport (movement of sodium, chloride and potassium across a membrane).

After earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, Pasricha earned his medical degree at the Duke University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at UCSF, where he received the Hogan/Garcia Award for best research by a resident as well as an award for excellence and innovation in graduate medical education for his work on virtual microsurgical training. He completed a fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. While at Bascom Palmer, he received their fellow of the year award and was awarded a merit fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation.

Pasricha belongs to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and Cornea Society.

In his free time, Pasricha loves being with his wife (also an ophthalmologist), running Bay Area trails, exploring new restaurants, telling nerdy jokes, eating cookies, wearing silly socks, and traveling with friends and family.

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