CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE LABORATORY
Xiaowen Lu, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist
Zhong Chen, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Research interests of the lab include corneal wound healing, intercellular junctions,
ion channel function, cell signaling, and bioengineering of an artificial cornea. We
also have a long term interest in bioactive lipids. Stemming from our corneal wound
healing work, research projects in the lab have broadened to include translational
projects aimed at understanding initiation of fibrotic diseases throughout the body,
including scleroderma (SSc) and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as research involving
osteoporosis and markers of bone metabolism. The current primary focus of the laboratory
is gaining an understanding of how vitamin D interacts with the cornea.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
BS, Biology; Emory University, Atlanta Georgia
PhD, Physiology; Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Wisconsin. Advisor: Henry F. Edelhauser, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow; Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Mayo Foundation, Rochester
Minnesota. Supervisor: James L. Rae, PhD
HONORS AND AWARDS
University of Tennessee Science Alliance Faculty Award, 2001
Marta Marx Eradication of Scleroderma Award, National Scleroderma Foundation, 2005
ARVO Silver Fellow, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2010
Dr. Watsky is the advisor and founder of the Augusta University Karate Club.
U.S.Patent #6,645,715: Artificial Cornea. Inventors: Griffith M, Watsky M,
SELECTED RECENT AND KEY PUBLICATIONS
- Liliom, K, Guan, Z, Tseng, JL, Desiderio, DM, Tigyi, GJ, and Watsky, MA. Growth factor-like
phospholipids generated following corneal injury. Am J Physiol. 274 (Cell Physiol. 43): C1065-C1074, 1998.
- Griffith, M, Osborne, R, Munger, R, Song, Y, Xiaojuan, X, Laycock, N, Hakim, M, Doillon,
C, and Watsky, MA. A functional human corneal equivalent from cell lines. Science
- Wang, J, Carbone, LD, and Watsky, MA. Receptor-mediated activation of a depolarizing
Cl- current by lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine-1-phosphate in cultured corneal
keratocytes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 43:3202-3208, 2002.
- Williams, KK and Watsky, MA. Gap junctional communication in the human corneal endothelium
and epithelium. Current Eye Research. 25: 29-36, 2002.
- Tokumura, A, Carbone, L, Yoshioka, Y, Morishige, J, Kikuchi, M, Postlethwaite, A,
Watsky M. Elevated serum levels of arachidonoyl-lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine
1-phosphate in systemic sclerosis. Int J Med Sci. 6:168-176, 2009.
- Yin, Z, Pintea, V, Li, Y, Hammock, BD, Watsky, MA. Vitamin D enhances corneal epithelial
barrier function. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 52:7359-7364, 2011.
- Tokumura A, Taira, S, Kikuchi, M, Tsutsumi, T, Shimizu, Y, Watsky MA. Lysophospholipids
and lysophospholipase D in rabbit aqueous humor following corneal injury. Prostaglandins
and Other Lipid Mediators97:83-89, 2012.
- Lin Y, Ubels JL, Schotanus MP, Yin Z, Pintea V, Hammock BD, Watsky MA. Enhancement
of vitamin D metabolites in the eye following vitamin D3 supplementation and UV-B
irradiation. Curr Eye Res. 37:871-878, 2012.
- Lu, X, Watsky, MA. Effects of vitamin D receptor knockout on cornea epithelium gap
junctions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 55:2975-2982 2014.
- Elizondo, RA, Yin, Z, Lu, X, Watsky, MA. Effect of vitamin D receptor knockout on
cornea epithelium wound healing and tight junctions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 55:5245-5251,