Homayon Ghiasi, PhD

Director, Ophthalmology Viral Immunology & Vaccine Laboratory, Surgical Research

Fax:(310) 423-0302

Institute Affiliation

Regenerative Medicine Institute

Academic Appointments

Professor, Surgery

Awards and Activities

Editorial Board Member: The Open Virology JournalCurrent
Editor: Current Eye ResearchCurrent
American Society for Microbiology1985
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology1987

Research Focus

Research interest concerns viral pathogenesis and immunology of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. The specific areas of studies are: (1) The role of HSV-1 in herpes induced corneal scarring; (2) Vaccine development against ocular HSV-1 infection; and (3) The role of viral infection and cytokines in CNS demyelination.

Research Contributions

1. Shown that a DNA cocktail of 5 HSV-1 glycoprotein genes is more efficacious than immunization with live virus or protein vaccine.
2. Ocular HSV-1 infection is the leading cause of corneal blindness in U.S. Have shown that HSV-1 induced eye disease is associated with HSV 1 glycoprotein K.
3. As a model for multiple sclerosis (MS), have shown that a combination of HSV-1 and IL-2 over-expression resulted in CNS demyelination.

Current investigations include:

The following NIH funded projects are in progress in the lab: (1) Improvement of vaccine efficacy against HSV. The main goal in this study is to develop a safe and effective vaccine against ocular HSV-1 infection; (2) The role of gK in HSV-1 induce corneal scarring. In this study we are testing the role of HSV-1 glycoprotein K (gK) in HSV-1 induced eye disease; and (3) The role of IL-2 and virus in optic neuritis. This study seeks to elucidate the biological and immunological mechanisms responsible for CNS demyelination in ocularly infected mice.

Selected Publications

  1. Mott KR, Perng GC, Osorio Y, Kousoulas KG, Ghiasi H: A recombinant herpes simplex virus type 1 expressing two additional copies of gK is more pathogenic than wild-type virus in two different strains of mice. J. Virol., 81(23): 12962-72, 2007
  2. Osorio Y, Mott KR, Jabbar AM, Moreno A, Foster TP, Kousoulas KG, Ghiasi H: Epitope mapping of HSV-1 glycoprotein K (gK) reveals a T cell epitope located within the signal domain of gK. Virus Res., 128(1-2): 71-80, 2007
  3. Mott K, Brick DJ, van Rooijen N, Ghiasi H: Macrophages are important determinants of acute ocular HSV-1 infection in immunized mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 48(12): 5605-15, 2007
  4. Mott KR, Osorio Y, Maguen E, Nesburn AB, Wittek AE, Cai S, Chattopadhyay S, Ghiasi H: Role of anti-glycoproteins D (anti-gD) and K (anti-gK) IgGs in pathology of herpes stromal keratitis in humans. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 48(5): 2185-93, 2007
  5. Osorio Y, La Point SF, Nusinowitz S, Hofman FM, Ghiasi H: CD8+-dependent CNS demyelination following ocular infection of mice with a recombinant HSV-1 expressing murine IL-2. Exp. Neurol., 193(1): 1-18, 2005
  6. Koelle DM, Ghiasi H: Prospects for developing an effective vaccine against ocular herpes simplex virus infection. Curr. Eye Res., 30(11): 929-42, 2005