Sophie X. Deng, MD, PhD, Director

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The Cornea Biology Laboratory, under Dr. Deng's direction, studies the microenvironment/niche of the limbal stem cells to elucidate those factors that govern the fate of limbal stem cells. The role of Wnt signal transduction pathway in human limbal stem/progenitor cells is under investigation. Use of small molecules to modulate Wnt signaling are being investigated to increase the ex vivo expansion of limbal stem cells for transplantation.

One ongoing clinical study conducted under Dr. Deng's direction is to elucidate and characterize the cellular changes in the cornea and limbus using laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy in patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. Studies to better characterize corneal, limbal and conjunctival epithelial cell phenotypes are also underway. These studies aim to develop new diagnostic tests and a classification system to stage limbal stem cell deficiency.

Research Areas

  • Limbal stem cell biology
  • Limbal stem cell deficiency
  • Corneal stromal wound healing
  • Corneal stromal stem cell derived exosomes

Contact Information
Phone: (310) 206-5767
Fax: (310) 794-7906
Email: [email protected]

Location Address
Doris Stein Eye Research Center
200 Stein Plaza, Room 3-143
Los Angeles, CA 90095