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CVM Ophthalmology Research
Wins Second Place

Dr. Jonathan Tovey and Dr. Rajiv Mohan

Jonathan Tovey, MD, recently won second place at the annual Table Rock Regional Roundup competition for research he performed under the supervision of Rajiv Mohan, PhD. Mohan is the Ruth M. Kraeuchi Endowed Professor in Veterinary Ophthalmology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, and Tovey is a third-year ophthalmology resident at the School of Medicine.

The researchers studied the impact of a cancer drug on non-cancer-related corneal scarring and haze. They tested the anti-scarring effect of Vorinostat in the eye in plated cornea cells (in a petri dish) as well as in animal models. Vorinostat, also known as SAHA, is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a general term for T-cell lymphomas that involve the skin.

“We found that SAHA is a safer, effective alternative to current therapies including Mitomycin C in the treatment and prevention of corneal scarring and haze, a top cause of preventable blindness globally,” Tovey said.

In addition to Tovey and Mohan, the principal investigator, other researchers involved with the project included Ajay Sharma, PhD; Elizabeth Giuliano, DVM, MS; Kristina Gronkiewicz, DVM; Prashant Sinha; Saad Siddiqui; and Justin Brooke. Sharma is an assistant research professor of veterinary ophthalmology, Giuliano is an associate professor of veterinary ophthalmology and section head of the MU ophthalmology service, and Gronkiewicz is an ophthalmology resident. Sinha, Siddiqui and Brooke were students who contributed to the project while working in the One Health/One Medicine Ophthalmology Research Laboratory.

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Last Update: February 29, 2012