Professor Ghosh receives NIH funding to study the role of retinal capillary stiffness in diabetic retinopathy

Kaustabh Ghosh ucr file

Bioengineering Assistant Professor Kaustabh Ghosh (Principal Investigator) has received a five-year $1.9M R01 grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of health (NIH) to study the “Role of Retinal Capillary Stiffness in Diabetic Retinopathy”.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a major microvascular complication of diabetes. Affecting approximately 40% of all people with diabetes, it is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population. Although current clinical therapies aim to resolve the advanced stages of DR, there is a growing recognition that more effective DR management can be achieved by tackling the disease at the early stage. Inflammation is seen as a key player in the development of vascular lesions in early DR, but how inflammation occurs is not fully understood.

The Ghosh Research Group has recently discovered that diabetes leads to stiffening of retinal vessels that, in turn, contributes significantly to retinal inflammation associated with early DR. The goal of this R01 grant is to drive this innovative research forward by examining the molecular basis of this critical yet previously-unknown mechanism of retinal inflammation in diabetes. To achieve this goal, Prof. Ghosh aims to integrate the multidisciplinary principles and techniques related to vascular biology, diabetes, inflammation, mechanobiology, and bioengineering. This research is being performed in collaboration with (Co-Investigator) Timothy Kern at Case Western Reserve University.

For more information regarding the Ghosh Research Group, please visit

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