Mehrnoosh Saghizadeh Ghiam, PhD

Research Scientist, Neurobiology Research
Phone:(310) 248-8696
Fax:(310) 248-8066

Institute Affiliation


Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Surgery

Awards and Activities

ISOV award for best ARVO abstract.2009
NEI ARVO Travel Award2009
APSIH Academic Achievement Award.2007
UCLA Dissertation Fellowship2006 - 2007
RD 2006 Young Investigator Award 2006
ISER 2006 Young Investigator Award2006
NIH Training Grant2000 - 2005
ARVO member2000
ISER member2006
ISOV member2007

Research Focus

Identification of specific molecular corneal defects associated with corneal pathological conditions such as diabetes. Employ a variety of molecular, functional tests and ex-vivo human organ-cultured corneas to understand the role of microRNAs in both the differentiated epithelial and stem cells of normal and diabetic corneas and their roles in driving peripheral activation of limbal stem cells in normal and diseased corneas.

Research Contributions

Unraveling the role of microRNA in normal and diabetic corneal disease and developing novel gene therapy treatments for the diseased corneas.

Current investigations include:

To examine how miRNAs function in regulatory pathways involved in corneal epithelial self-renewal, differentiation and wound healing processes in normal and disease states. MicroRNA gene therapy effects on wound healing and marker distribution in normal and diabetic corneas. Collaborative studies on the use of specialized extracellular matrix and soluble factors to generate corneal epithelial cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for future transplantation purposes.

Selected Publications

  1. Funari VA, Winkler M, Brown J, Dimitrijevich SD, Ljubimov AV, Saghizadeh M: Differentially Expressed Wound Healing-Related microRNAs in the Human Diabetic Cornea. PLoS ONE, 8(12): e84425, 2013
  2. Saghizadeh M, Epifantseva I, Hemmati DM, Ghiam CA, Brunken WJ, Ljubimov AV: Enhanced Wound Healing, Kinase and Stem Cell Marker Expression in Diabetic Organ-Cultured Human Corneas Upon MMP-10 and Cathepsin F Gene Silencing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 54(13): 8172-80, 2013
  3. Saghizadeh M, Winkler MA, Kramerov AA, Hemmati DM, Ghiam CA, Dimitrijevich SD, Sareen D, Ornelas L, Ghiasi H, Brunken WJ, Maguen E, Rabinowitz YS, Svendsen CN, Jirsova K, Ljubimov AV: A simple alkaline method for decellularizing human amniotic membrane for cell culture. PLoS ONE, 8(11): e79632, 2013
  4. Saghizadeh M, Soleymani S, Harounian A, Bhakta B, Troyanovsky SM, Brunken WJ, Pellegrini G, Ljubimov AV: Alterations of epithelial stem cell marker patterns in human diabetic corneas and effects of c-met gene therapy. Mol. Vis., 17: 2177-90, 2011
  5. Saghizadeh M, Gribanova Y, Akhmedov NB, Farber DB: ZBED4, a cone and Müller cell protein in human retina, has a different cellular expression in mouse. Mol. Vis., 17: 2011-8, 2011
  6. Farber DB, Theendakara VP, Akhmedov NB, Saghizadeh M: ZBED4, a novel retinal protein expressed in cones and Müller cells. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 664: 79-87, 2010