Welcome to the Niederkorn Lab
The major interest in our laboratory relates to the immunobiology of the eye. In particular, our research efforts fall into four basic categories: 1) immunobiology of corneal transplants; 2) immunologic privilege of the anterior chamber of the eye; 3) immunology of intraocular tumors and their metastases; and 4) biology, immunology, and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Our research involves basic immunology that has clinically relevant applications.
Unlike all other forms of organ transplantation, corneal grafts enjoy a remarkably low rejection rate, even without the use of immunosuppressive drugs. This immune privilege of corneal allografts is a major focus of our research activities. Although >90% of corneal grafts succeed in patients, immune rejection remains the leading cause of graft failure, when it occurs. Accordingly, our research also deals with novel strategies for preventing the immune rejection of corneal grafts. In particular, we have developed an oral vaccine for actively suppressing the host’s immune response to histocompatibility antigens on the corneal grafts.