Sharmila Masli, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Ophthalmology

PhD, Northeastern University
MS, Northeastern University

The major focus of research in the laboratory is the study of molecular mechanisms utilized by ocular antigen presenting cells (APCs) to regulate inflammatory ocular immune responses. Particular focus is on elucidating the role of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) in regulating ocular inflammation.

Resident ocular APCs in the posterior and anterior segment of the eye depend on TSP-1 for maintaining an anti-inflammatory phenotype. In the absence of TSP-1 these APCs acquire more immunogenic phenotype. These observations are examined further to determine their role in ocular inflammation.

Induction of regulatory T cells (Treg) subset by ocular APCs is known to be a key component of ocular immune privilege. The ability of ocular APCs to induce Treg and its correlation with their expression of TSP-1 is examined in the laboratory at the level of molecular mechanisms.

The laboratory has identified spontaneous development of autoimmune Sjögren’s syndrome and related ocular inflammation in TSP-1 deficient mice that closely resembles clinical symptoms in human Sjögren’s patients. Different projects in the laboratory address immunologic mechanisms underlying disease development in these mice.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

1996 Northeastern University: Phi Beta Delta
1995 Northeastern University: Rho Chi
1987 Student of the Year

Projects for the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2020 (PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Stephen P. Christiansen, MD
Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc.

Determining the effect of natriuretic peptides and sGC peptide on mucin secretion by conjunctival goblet cells
07/01/2017 - 04/30/2018 (PI)
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Determining efficacy of IL-17 antagonist in resolving Sjogren's syndrome associated chronic dry eye
08/08/2016 - 12/31/2017 (PI)
Allergan Sales Inc

Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Immune Regulation of Ocular Inflammation
04/15/2013 - 08/31/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Eye Institute


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Akpek EK, Wu HY, Karakus S, Zhang Q, Masli S. Differential Diagnosis of Sjögren Versus Non-Sjögren Dry Eye Through Tear Film Biomarkers. Cornea. 2020 Aug; 39(8):991-997. PMID: 32195754
  2. Foulsham W, Dohlman TH, Mittal SK, Taketani Y, Singh RB, Masli S, Dana R. Thrombospondin-1 in ocular surface health and disease. Ocul Surf. 2019 07; 17(3):374-383. PMID: 31173926
  3. Soriano-Romaní L, Contreras-Ruiz L, López-García A, Diebold Y, Masli S. Topical Application of TGF-ß-Activating Peptide, KRFK, Prevents Inflammatory Manifestations in the TSP-1-Deficient Mouse Model of Chronic Ocular Inflammation. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec 20; 20(1). PMID: 30577496
  4. Tatematsu Y, Khan Q, Blanco T, Bair JA, Hodges RR, Masli S, Dartt DA. Thrombospondin-1 Is Necessary for the Development and Repair of Corneal Nerves. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Oct 16; 19(10). PMID: 30332778
  5. Singh N, Chin I, Gabriel P, Blaum E, Masli S. Dysregulated Marginal Zone B Cell Compartment in a Mouse Model of Sjögren's Syndrome with Ocular Inflammation. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Oct 11; 19(10). PMID: 30314337
  6. Bhattacharya S, García-Posadas L, Hodges RR, Makarenkova HP, Masli S, Dartt DA. Alteration in nerves and neurotransmitter stimulation of lacrimal gland secretion in the TSP-1-/- mouse model of aqueous deficiency dry eye. Mucosal Immunol. 2018 07; 11(4):1138-1148. PMID: 29445135
  7. Wakshull E, Quarmby V, Mahler HC, Rivers H, Jere D, Ramos M, Szczesny P, Bechtold-Peters K, Masli S, Gupta S. Advancements in Understanding Immunogenicity of Biotherapeutics in the Intraocular Space. AAPS J. 2017 Nov; 19(6):1656-1668. PMID: 28795351
  8. Contreras Ruiz L, Mir FA, Turpie B, Masli S. Thrombospondin-derived peptide attenuates Sjögren's syndrome-associated ocular surface inflammation in mice. Clin Exp Immunol. 2017 Apr; 188(1):86-95.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28033649; DOI: 10.1111/cei.12919;
  9. Shatos MA, Hodges RR, Morinaga M, McNay DE, Islam R, Bhattacharya S, Li D, Turpie B, Makarenkova HP, Masli S, Utheim TP, Dartt DA. Alteration in cellular turnover and progenitor cell population in lacrimal glands from thrombospondin 1-/- mice, a model of dry eye. Exp Eye Res. 2016 Dec; 153:27-41. PMID: 27697548; DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2016.09.011;
  10. Smith RE, Reyes NJ, Khandelwal P, Schlereth SL, Lee HS, Masli S, Saban DR. Secondary allergic T cell responses are regulated by dendritic cell-derived thrombospondin-1 in the setting of allergic eye disease. J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Aug; 100(2):371-80. PMID: 26856994; PMCID: PMC4945354; DOI: 10.1189/jlb.3A0815-357RR;
Showing 10 of 56 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 56 publications over 22 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2015


Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
Google Map

Masli's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Similar People
Same Department