Lynn M. Hassman, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My goal is to identify molecular mechanisms that determine disease severity and treatment response in uveitis. The approach utilizes state-of-the-art high-throughput modalities to generate deep data on the relatively small number of cells accessible from the eyes of patients with uveitis. With this approach, we are able to obtain an unprecedented level of understanding of human ocular inflammation. We then use this information to identify the peripheral blood correlates of ocular inflammatory cells. We can then identify the molecular changes in these key cellular populations that correlate with clinical responses to drug therapies. Specifically in this application, I am investigating the role of Jannus Kinase (JAK) signaling in patients with a specific subtype of uveitis treated with tofacitinib, a JAK inhibitor, as part of a clinical trial.