Rajiv R. Mohan, PhD

Profile

University of Missouri bioscientist Dr. Rajiv Mohan is renowned for his contributions to eye research, including nanomedicine therapies to treat corneal diseases.

Each year, 1.5 million Americans are affected by eye injury or disease which damages the cornea. Mohan has identified minimally invasive ways to deliver treatments both topically and by injection. He has also invented a new method of using nanoparticles to introduce therapeutic genes to treat diseased corneas in animals. He hopes to translate the gene therapy to human medicine.

Another of Mohan’s areas of expertise is complications arising from laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) laser surgery. The frequently used procedure, while generally safe, can lead to dry eyes and small folds in the cornea. Mohan is looking at the molecular level to understand precisely how the cornea heals itself.

Mohan has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and has presented his work at national and international eye research conferences. In 2014, he was named a Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the largest eye and vision research organization in the world.

Dr. Rajiv Mohan is a professor of ophthalmology and molecular medicine at the School of Medicine and Ruth M. Kraeuchi Missouri Endowed Chair Professor in Veterinary Ophthalmology at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also director of MU’s Ophthalmology One-Health One-Medicine Research Program and director of resident research at the Mason Eye Institute.

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Academic Information

Professor
P. 573-884-1449

Research Interests

  • Corneal gene therapy
  • Corneal nanomedicine
  • Corneal wound healing
  • Refractive laser surgery
  • Keratoconus
  • CounterACT research
  • Glaucoma bleb fibrosis

Areas of Expertise

  • Corneal gene therapy
  • Corneal nanomedicine
  • Corneal wound healing
  • Refractive laser surgery (PRK, LASIK)
  • Corneal scarring and angiogenesis
  • Keratoconus
  • Glaucoma
  • Peritoneal fibrosis and laminitis

Education & Training

Medical School

Lucknow University, India

Fellowship

Eye institution Cleveland Clinic

Awards & Honors

  • 2020 - 1st Place Poster award at the Health Sciences Day (Nov 10; Nishant Sinha, PhD graduate student)
  • 2020 - Qais Farjo Memorial Award from ARVO (Feb 8; Lynn Martin, PhD graduate student)
  • 2020 - National Eye Institute NIH Travel Award from ARVO (Feb 8; Alexandria Hofmann, research fellow)
  • 2020 - Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel award from ARVO (Feb 8; Sydney Green, undergrad)
  • 2020 - Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel award from ARVO (Feb 8; Mikayla Fraunfelder, undergrad)
  • 2020 - NIH/NIAID Travel award for Ocular CounterACT meeting (Jan 30; Sabeeh Kamil, research scholar)
  • 2020 - ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation grant (Jan 13; Allison Fuchs, veterinary ophthalmology resident)
  • 2019 - People’s Choice Award at the VA Annual Research Week (Dec 13; Ratnakar Tripathi, PhD)
  • 2019 - Phi-zeta pilot grant award (Dec 12; Praveen Balne, postdoctoral fellow)
  • 2019 - Phi-zeta pilot grant award (Dec 12; Lynn Martin, graduate student)
  • 2019 - Phi-zeta pilot grant award (Dec 12; Allison Fuchs, veterinary ophthalmology resident)
  • 2019 - John D. Bies International Travel Scholarship (Oct 08; Lynn Martin, graduate student)
  • 2019 - Laura Nahm Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award (May 14; Sally Heil, undergrad)
  • 2019 - 2nd Best Poster Award at the CVM Research Day (May 10; Nishant Sinha)
  • 2019 - 2nd Best Paper Award at the CVM Research Day (May 10; Rayne Lim, graduate student)
  • 2019 - Overall Best Presentation Award at the CVM Research Day (May 10; Sally Heil, undergrad)
  • 2019 - Elected for the ARVO annual program planning committee (Apr 29; Rajiv Mohan)
  • 2019 - UGR Travel Award for ARVO to honor biology student (Apr 26; Sally Heil, undergrad)
  • 2019 - UGR Travel Award for ARVO to honor biology student (Apr 29; Nishant Sinha)
  • 2019 - John D. Bies International Travel Scholarship from ARVO (Apr 19; Rayne Lim, graduate student)
  • 2019 - Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel award from the ARVO (Feb 13; Helena Lam, M4 student)
  • 2018 - Zoetis Award for Research Excellence in Veterinary Medicine (May 9; Rajiv Mohan)
  • 2018 - MU Postdoctoral Association People’s Choice award (Sept 17; Suneel Gupta, PhD, postdoc)
  • 2018 - Phi Zeta 2nd Best Research Poster Award (May 25; Hannah Gafen, DVM student)
  • 2018 - Phi Zeta 3rd Best Research Poster Award (May 25; Ratnakar Tripathi, PhD)
  • 2018 - Cherng Summer Scholar Award (March 23; Sally Heil, undergrad)
  • 2018 - Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel award from ARVO (Jan 25; Lindsey McDaniel, MD, resident)
  • 2018 - NEI, NIH Travel award from ARVO (Feb 12; Suneel Gupta, PhD, postdoc)
  • 2018 - Selected for the ARVO’s Member-in-Training Committee (Feb 16)

Publications

  1. Gupta S, Fink MK, Sinha PR, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Mohan RR. DELTA scoring system: an efficient and precise method for clinical grading and quantification of corneal neovascularization in vivo. Mol. Vis. Under Review
  2. Fink MK, Gupta S, Ebers S, Crider EL, Possin M, Zhang J, Sinha, PR, Hesemann NP, Mohan RR. Pharmacologic inhibition of rho-associated protein kinase pathways as a therapeutic strategy for attenuating corneal fibrosis and neovascularization in vivo. Plos One. Under Review.
  3. Balne PK, Gupta S, Zhang J, Bristow D, Faubion M, Heil SD, Sinha PR, Green SL, Mohan RR. The functional role of decorin in corneal neovascularization in vivo. Exp Eye Res. 2020 revised MSS under review.
  4. Fuchs A, Giuliano EA, Sinha NR, Mohan RR. Ocular toxicity of mustard gas: a concise review. Tox Letters 2020 under review.
  5. Mohan RR. Martin LM, Sinha NR. Novel insights into gene therapy in the cornea. Exp Eye Res. Exp Eye Res. 2021;202:108361.
  6. Gupta S, Kamil K, Sinha PR, Rodier JT, Chaurasia SS, Mohan RR. Glutathione is a potential therapeutic target for acrolein toxicity in the cornea. Tox Letters Toxicol Lett. 2021;340:33-42.
  7. Kamil S, Mohan RR. Corneal stromal wound healing: Major players and therapeutic targets. Ocular Surface, Ocul Surf. 2020:S1542-0124(20)30164-6.
  8. McNutt PM, Mohan RR. The need for improved therapeutic approaches to protect the cornea against chemotoxicinjuries. Transl Vis Sci Technol, 2020, 9, 2. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.12.2
  9. Tripathi R, Balne PK, Sinha NR, Martin LM, Kamil, S, Landreneau, JR, Gupta S, Rodier JT, Sinha NR, Hofmann AC, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Mohan RR. A novel topical ophthalmic formulation to mitigate acute mustard gas keratopathy in vivo: A pilot study. Transl Vis Sci Technol, 2020, 9, 6. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.12.6.
  10. Gupta S, Martin LM, Sinha NR, Smith KE, Sinha PR, Dailey EM, Hesemann NP, Mohan RR. Role of inhibitor of differentiation 3 gene in cellular differentiation of human corneal stromal fibroblasts. Mol. Vis. 2020, 26, 742-756.
  11. Gupta S, Fink MK, Martin LM, Sinha PR, Rodier JT, Sinha NR, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Mohan RR. Rabbit Model for Evaluating Ocular Damage to Acrolein Toxicity in vivo. Ann N Y Acad Sci.; 2020 Nov 1480(1):233-245.
  12. Balne PK, Sinha NR, Hofmann AC, Martin LM, Mohan RR. Characterization of hydrogen sulfide toxicity to the human corneal stromal fibroblasts. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 Nov;1480(1):207-218.
  13. Hofmann AC, Balne PK, Tripathi R, Kamil S, Gupta S, Sinha PR, Sinha NR, Mohan RR. Effects of matrix-stiffness on human corneal stromal fibroblast differentiation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020; 61(7):2926.
  14. Green SL, Gupta S, Sinha PR, Sinha NR, Balne PK, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Mohan RR. Role of Smad3 in healing cornea using knockout (Smad3 -/-) mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020; 61(7):2610.
  15. Lim RR, Wieser ME, Ganga RR, Barathi VA, Lakshminarayanan R, Mohan RR, Hainsworth DP, Chaurasia SS. NOD-like receptors in the eye: uncovering its role in diabetic retinopathy. Int J Mol Sci. 2020; 30;21(3). pii: E899. doi: 10.3390/ijms21030899.
  16. Kumar NR, Khamar P, Shetty R, Sharma A, Shetty N, Pahuja N, Abilash VG, Jhanji V, Ghosh A, Mohan RR, Vangala RK, Ghosh A. Identification of novel predictive factors for post-surgical corneal haze. Sci Rep. 2019; 18; 9:16980. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53123-3.
  17. Gouveia RM, Lepert G, Gupta S, Mohan RR, Paterson C, Connon CJ. Assessment of corneal substrate biomechanics and its effect on epithelial stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Nat Commun. 2019; 10:1496.
  18. Rodier JT, Tripathi R, Fink MK, Sharma A, Korampally M, Gangopadhyay S, Giuliano EA, Sinha PR, Mohan RR. Linear Polyethylenimine-DNA Nanoconstruct for Corneal Gene Delivery. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2019; 35:23-31.
  19. Tripathi R, Giuliano EA, Gafen HB, Gupta S, Martin LM, Sinha PR, Rodier JT, Fink MK, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS. Mohan RR. Is sex a biological variable in corneal wound healing? Exp Eye Res. 2019 Jun 18:107705. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2019.107705
  20. Martin LM, Jeyabalan N, Tripathi R, Panigrahi T, Johnson PJ, Ghosh A, Mohan RR. Autophagy in corneal health and disease: A concise review. Ocul Surf. 2019; S1542-0124(18)30282-9
  21. RR Lim, DP Hainsworth, RR Mohan, SS Chaurasia. Characterization of a functionally active primary microglial cell culture from the pig retina, Exp. Eye Res., 2019:107670. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2019.05.010
  22. Mohan RR, Tripathi R, Sharma A, Sinha PR, Giuliano EA, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS. Decorin antagonizes corneal fibroblast migration via caveolae-mediated endocytosis of epidermal growth factor receptor. Exp Eye Res. 2019; 180:200-7. 
  23. RR Lim, Vaidya T, SG Gadde, NK Yadav, S Sethu, DP Hainsworth, RR Mohan, A Ghosh, SS Chaurasia. Correlation between systemic S100A8 and S100A9 levels and severity of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. 2019; 13(2); 1581-1589, doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2019.03.014
  24. Gupta S, Fink MK, Ebers S, Crider EL, Possin M, Sinha PR, Hesemann NP, Giuliano EA, Mohan RR. Pharmacologic inhibition of rho-associated protein kinase pathways as a therapeutic strategy for attenuating corneal fibrosis and neovascularization in vivo. PloS One. In Review.
  25. Lim RR, Grant DG, Olver TD, Padilla J, Mohan RR, Hainsworth DP, Walters EM, Chaurasia SS. Young Ossabaw pigs fed a Western diet exhibit early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018; 59:2325-38.
  26. Anumanthan G, Gupta S, Fink MK, Tripathi R, Hesemann NP, Bowles DK, McDaniel LM, Muhammad M, Mohan RR. KCa3.1 ion channel: a novel therapeutic target for corneal fibrosis. PLoS One. 2018;13(3): e0192145.
  27. Marlo TL, Giuliano EA, Tripathi R, Sharma A, Mohan RR. Altering equine corneal fibroblast differentiation through Smad gene transfer. Vet Ophthalmol. 2018;21:132-139.
  28. Chaurasia SS, Lim RR, Parikh BH, Yeo SW, Tun BB, Wong TY, Luu CD, Agrawal R, Ghosh A, Mortellaro A, Rackoczy E, Mohan RR, Barathi VA. The NLRP3 inflammasome may contribute to pathologic neovascularization in the advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy. Sci. Reports 2018;8:2847.
  29. Lim RR, S Gupta, DG Grant, PR Sinha, RR Mohan, SS Chaurasia. Retinal ultrastructural and microvascular defects in decorin deficient (Dcn-/-) mice. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 2018;24:1264-1265. doi: 10.1017/S1431927618006803
  30. Gupta S, Fink MK, Ghosh A, Sinha PR, Sharma A, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Giuliano EA, Mohan RR. Novel combination BMP7 and HGF gene therapy instigates selective myofibroblast apoptosis and restores corneal transparency in vivo. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Feb 1;59(2):1045-1057.
  31. Anumanthan G, Wilson PJ, Tripathi R, Hesemann NP, Mohan RR. Blockade of KCa3.1: A novel target to treat TGF-β1 induced conjunctival fibrosis. Exp. Eye Res. 2018;167:140-4.
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