Sharmila Masli, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

PhD, Northeastern University
MS, Northeastern University
BSc, University of Bombay

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 Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Determining the efficacy of Platelet Like Cells (PLC) in resolving Sjogren’s syndrome-associated chronic dry eye in a pre-clinical mouse model (TSP-1-/- mice).
12/22/2022 - 12/22/2023 (PI)
Stellular Bio, Inc.

Projects for the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund
07/01/2014 - 08/31/2023 (PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Stephen P. Christiansen, MD
Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc.

Tear biomarkers for differential diagnosis of Sjogren's vs. non-Sjogren's dry eye
09/01/2020 - 07/01/2022 (PI)
Sjogren's Foundation

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. Masli S, Akpek EK. Reduced tear thrombospondin-1/matrix metalloproteinase-9 ratio can aid in detecting Sjögren's syndrome etiology in patients with dry eye. Clin Transl Sci. 2022 Aug; 15(8):1999-2009. PMID: 35610740; PMCID: PMC9372415; DOI: 10.1111/cts.13316;
  2. Soriano-Romaní L, Mir FA, Singh N, Chin I, Hafezi-Moghadam A, Masli S. CD47 Binding on Vascular Endothelial Cells Inhibits IL-17-Mediated Leukocyte Adhesion. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 20; 23(10). PMID: 35628515; PMCID: PMC9146020; DOI: 10.3390/ijms23105705;
  3. Logeswaran A, Contreras-Ruiz L, Masli S. Conjunctival Goblet Cell Responses to TLR5 Engagement Promote Activation of Local Antigen-Presenting Cells. Front Immunol. 2021; 12:716939. PMID: 34434198; PMCID: PMC8380822; DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.716939;
  4. Simon LS, Keshav V, Baharozian C, Masli S, Lee HJ. Thrombospondin 1 polymorphism associated with decreased expression and increased risk of pterygium. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2021 Aug; 259(8):2301-2307.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33661363
  5. Ramos MF, Brassard J, Masli S. Immunology and Pathology in Ocular Drug Development. Toxicol Pathol. 2021 04; 49(3):483-504. PMID: 33468035
  6. Masli S, Dartt DA. Mouse Models of Sjögren's Syndrome with Ocular Surface Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Nov 30; 21(23). PMID: 33266081; PMCID: PMC7730359; DOI: 10.3390/ijms21239112;
  7. 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
  8. 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; PMCID: PMC6708501; DOI: 10.1016/j.jtos.2019.06.001;
  9. 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; PMCID: PMC6337581; DOI: 10.3390/ijms20010009;
  10. 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; PMCID: PMC6214039; DOI: 10.3390/ijms19103191;
Showing 10 of 62 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 62 publications over 24 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2015


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

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

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