Debasish Sinha, PhD

  • Jennifer Salvitti Davis, M.D. Chair in Ophthalmology Research
  • Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology and Developmental Biology
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Adjunct Faculty, Ophthalmology, The John's Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Environmental Health & Engineering, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Representative Publications

Original articles

  1. Zigler JS Jr.  et al. Mutation in the bA3/A1-crystallin gene impairs phagosome degradation in the retinal pigmented epithelium of the rat.   (2011), Journal of Cell Science. 124: 523-531.
  2. Valapala M et al. Impaired endolysosomal function disrupts Notch signaling in optic nerve astrocytes. Nature Communications. (2013), 4:1629. doi: 10.1038/ ncomms2624.
  3. Valapala M et al. Lysosomal-mediated waste clearance in retinal pigmented epithelial cells is regulated by CRYBA1/bA3/A1-crystallin via V-ATPase-MTORC1 signaling.  Autophagy.  (2014), 10 (3): 480-496.
  4. Valapala M et al.  Increased Lipocalin-2 in the retinal pigment epithelium of Cryba1 cKO mice is associated with a chronic inflammatory response. Aging Cell. (2014), 13(6): 1091-4.
  5. Valapala M et al.  bA3/A1-crystallin is a critical mediator of STAT3 signaling in optic nerve astrocytes.  2015, Scientific Reports. 5:8755. doi: 10.1038/srep08755.
  6. Shang P et al. The amino acid transporter SLC36A4 regulates the amino acid pool in retinal pigmented epithelial cells and mediates the mechanistic target of rapamycin, complex 1 signaling. Aging Cell.(2017), 16 (2): 349-359.
  7. Ghosh S et al. Activating AKT2/NFkB/LCN-2 axis elicits inflammatory response in age-related macular degeneration. The Journal of Pathology. (2017), 241(5): 583-588.
  8. Wang J et al. ATAC-Seq analysis reveals a widespread decrease of chromatin accessibility in age-related macular degeneration. Nature Communications.  (2018), 9(1):1364. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03856-y.
  9. Yazdankhah M et al. Modulating EGFR/MTORC1/Autophagy as a potential therapy for Persistent Fetal Vasculature (PFV) disease.  (2019), Autophagy, In Press.
  10.  Ghosh S et al.  Neutrophils homing into the retina trigger pathology in early age-related macular degeneration.  (2019), Communications Biology, In Press.

Invited Review articles

  1. Whitcup SM et al. The role of the immune response in age-related macular degeneration.   International Journal of Inflammation, (2013); 2013, 348092.
  2. Zigler, Jr. JS et al. bA3/A1-crystallin: more than a lens protein.  Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. (2015) 44C: 62-85.
  3. Zigler, Jr. JS et al.  bA3/A1-crystallin and persistent fetal vasculature (PFV)   disease of the eye.   BBA-General Subjects. (2016) 1860 (Pt. B): 287-298.
  4. Sinha D et al. Lysosomes: regulators of autophagy in the retinal pigmented epithelium.  Experimental Eye Research. (2016) 144: 46-53.
  5. Ferrington D et al. Potential defects in RPE in proteolysis and AMD pathology.  Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. (2016); 51: 69-89.


Research Interest Summary


Research Interests

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the role of glia and glia-like cells (retinal pigmented epithelium) in ocular health and disease.  We use genetically engineered mouse and spontaneous mutant rat models as tools to decipher functions of these cells in health and disease.  The diseases we focus on are (1) Persistent Fetal Vasculature (PFV) and (2) Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).


Stacey Hose, B.A. (Laboratory Manager)

Sayan Ghosh, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Haitao Liu (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Peng Shang, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Nadezda Stepicheva, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Meysam Yazdankhah, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Christopher Scott Fitting (Research Technician)
Joseph Weiss (Research Technician)