Biji Mathew, PhD

The objective of the current proposal is to develop and validate cell specific, site-targeted, and therapeutically active mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes (also known as extracellular vesicles or EVs) for prolonged neuroprotective effect from retinal glaucoma. My goal is to engineer EVs by tapping into their endocytotic and binding properties, thereby enhancing their delivery and action, thus preventing RGC and axonal loss.

I am a highly motivated, and well published research scientist with extensive expertise in translational research, in vivo pharmacological studies, inflammatory diseases, drug discovery, drug testing and validation. I joined Dr. Steven Roth’s lab in 2015 as a research assistant professor, and my research focus has since been on the prevention of retinal degenerative diseases. My prior work with inflammatory disease, specifically on endothelial vascular permeability, uniquely positions me to be able to successfully enact the proposed research. Alongside my specialization in biochemistry and molecular biology, additionally, I have extensive experience in both in vivo and in vitro disease model characterization, cell culture, and characterization of primary cell lines, and in planning, trouble shooting and data analytics. Over the last decade I have published 24 papers, a majority of them being in high-impact journals. My overall h-index is 15, with my 5-year h-index being 14. I also have extensive experience as a project lead and co-investigator on NIH funded PPG and RO1 grants. I take pride and joy in my role as a supervisor of lab personnel; in mentoring students, residents and fellows; and in making a powerful impact in the treatment of retinal disease through collaborations with other units and universities by expanding my knowledge base and continuously pushing the envelope towards better medical treatment.