My research interests include lipidomics, enzymology, drug discovery, and bioanalytical chemistry in the relation to ocular biochemistry, biophysics, and physiology. The main experimental approaches that I use include high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); gas chromatography (GC); mass spectrometry and its combinations with HPLC and MS; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR); ultraviolet (UV) spectrometry; experimental and theoretical enzyme kinetic analyses; computer-assisted molecular modeling and thermodynamic calculations, among others.
Currently, my work is focused on the causes of, and finding best treatments for, dry eye syndrome (DES). DES is a multifactorial debilitating disease that has a severe impact on the lives of millions of people. There is no cure for dry eye. The disease is related to changes in lipid and protein profiles in the so-called tear film which, under normal conditions, covers the entire ocular surface forming a protective layer, and whose quick deterioration is believed to be associated with DES. Thus, I am interested in developing a valid molecular model of normal human tear film, and using it to elucidate the pathological changes in tear film in dry eye patients.
Pursuing these goals involves developing novel experimental and theoretical approaches in the areas of lipidomics, proteomics, and biophysics of thin films. Thus, I am interested in comparative biochemical and biophysical analyses of human and animal tear films to identify a best functional animal model of the human tear film. Developing such a model would greatly enhance our experimental capabilities, and provide vital information on the structure, composition, and physiology of tear film in different species. This information, in turn, will be used to find a way to repair the damaged tear film in dry eye patients, and, possibly, to enhance the normal tear film in healthy individuals.