Dr. Bala Ambati devotes a significant portion of his time to research endeavors investigating the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, in the cornea. His laboratory group has solved the long-outstanding mystery of what keeps the cornea normally free of blood vessels, identifying the protein sVEGFR-1 as the prime mediator of this essential requirement for clear vision. His team has applied this knowledge in developing novel inhibitors targeting the key mediator of angiogenesis, VEGF, specifically sequestering this linchpin molecule within cells, complementing the existing anti-VEGF arsenal.
Dr. Ambati hopes to build collaborative research programmes within Moran and on-campus with a view towards continued development of anti-angiogenic agents, understanding the mechanisms of alternative splicing controlling sVEGFR-1, and advancing drug delivery to the eye. With respect to clinical research, Dr. Ambati is committed to constant analysis of results of cornea transplants, LASIK, cataract extraction, and other anterior segment procedures with a view towards optimization of patient outcomes.