Peter Reinach, PhD
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036

Research Description

Corneal Epithelial Regeneration

Corneal epithelial transparency is essential for normal vision.  In order for transparency to be maintained, this tissue layer must undergo continuous renewal. This process is under the control of a wide variety of growth factors released by the corneal epithelium. They synchronize the events underlying corneal epithelial proliferation and differentiation.  We are focused on identifying how these different factors induce sequential activation of their cognate receptors and downstream cell signaling events leading to gene transcription.   Our techniques include single cell fluorescence imaging, Western blot analysis to evaluate the phosphorylation status of cell signaling intermediates, enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, protein and gene microarrays. To characterize the roles of ion transporters in mediating receptor-linked control of these responses, we are using patch clamp technology for this purpose. Taken together, these different experimental approaches will identify novel drug targets for use in a clinical setting to hasten corneal wound healing induced by injury. Their use is expected to reduce the likelihood of corneal infection, inflammation and hasten the restoration of  its transparency.

Education and Training

New York University, New York, NY, PhD (Biophysics), 1972

New York University, New York, NY, BA (Biology), 1964


Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

  • 1972-1977: Research Associate, Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

  • 1977-1982: Research Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

  • 1982-1989: Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology Washington University School of Medicine

  • 1989-1994: Associate Professor, Physiology, Medical College of Georgia

  • 1994-1997: Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry

  • 1997-2005: Professor Biological Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry

  • 2005-Present:  Distinguished Teaching Professor Biological Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry

  • 2003-Present:  Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia University

Other Experience and Professional Membership

  • 1987-Present: American Physiological Society

  • 1998-Present:Regular member of Visual Sciences Study Section AED (CSR)

  • 1998-Present: Adjunct Professor of Physiology (in Ophthalmology), Columbia University

  • 2000-Present: Visiting Professor of Biochemistry, University of Tokyo

  • 1997-Present: Reviewer of Small Business Grants (MDCN5)

  • 2002-Present: Visiting Professor of Physiology, Shanghai Second Medical University

  • 2003-Present: Scientific Advisor, Shanghai Health Science Center

  • 1991-Present: Consultant for Santen Pharmaceuticals and Wakamoto Pharmaceuticals

  • 2007-Present: Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology, Xiamen University

Professional Activities

Committee Services:        

  • Chairman of Physiology and Pharmacology

  • Program Planning Committee:  Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

  • Basic Research Science Review Committee

  • Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee

  • Member of AIBS Review Board for evaluation of refractive surgical safety

  • Regular member Study Section AED CSRA,  February 2005

  • Scientific consultant for Wakamoto Pharmaceuticals,  December 2004

  • Regular member Visual Sciences Study Section, AED, National Eye Institute, Center, Scientific Review  1997-2002

  • Regular Member of Small Business Review Committee SBRN-4 (NIH)1999-present

  • American Institute of Biological Science Special Study Section Member:  Refractive Surgery Evaluation for Military   1998 - present

  • Member of Editorial Board: Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine     1998 - present

  • Ad. Hoc. member Visual Sciences Study Section, VISC, National Eye Institute  1996-1997

  • Ad. Hoc. member Visual Sciences Study Section, VISA, National Eye Institute 1996-1997 and 2003   

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Santen Pharmaceutical, Osaka, Japan (Scientific Advisor and Manuscript Support for journal submission), 1992-present

  • Scientific Consultant, Wakamoto Pharmaceutical Co., Tokyo, Japan (Scientific Advisor, support for product presentation to overseas pharmaceutical companies and Manuscript Support for journal submission), 2002-present


Graduate Student Committee

Graduate Student Admissions: Wei Dai (New York Medical College); Sylvia Kang, Fan Zhang, José Capó-Aponte, Zan Pan (SUNY College of Optometry)

Doctoral Students: Thesis Committee Member

Wei Dai (New York Medical College); John Sullivan (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Masters Students: Thesis Supervisor

Cindy Wang; Fan Zhang; Jojo Du; Wenhong Tao; Weiching Wu; Sylvia Kang; Viviana Tores; José Capó-Aponte;Zan Pan

Laboratory Rotations

Mark Klepner; Don Williams; José Cruz

Professional and Scholarly Associations

  • American Physiological Society

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

  • Editorial Services (Reviewer)

  • Current Eye Research

  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

  • American Journal of Physiology

  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta

  • National Science Foundation

  • Journal of Membrane Biology

  • Experimental Eye Research

  • Burroughs Welcome Trust

  • Hong Kong Research Foundation

  • Physiological Genomics

  • Ophthalmic Research

  • Experimental Biology and Medicine

Honors and Awards

  • Chancellors Award from SUNY for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, 2003    

  • Fight for Sight Research Award for Scholarly Excellence,  1985

  • $90,000 (per year)/3 years Academic Investigator Award, National Eye Institute,  1977

  • New York University, Distinguished PhD Dissertation Award,  1972


  • Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals, Beverly, MA: Roles of Resolvins in Reducing Ocular Inflammation, $50,000 per year

Research Grant and Fellowships (Primary Investigator)

Monbusho International Research Fellow
Ministry of Education, Japan (1991)

Title: Control of Corneal Epithelial Proliferation
Amount: $300,000/year
Source:National Eye Institute
Duration: 2003-2008
Status: Active

Title: Control of Corneal Epithelial Proliferation
Amount:  $180,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Status: Completed

Title: Control of Corneal Epithelial Proliferation
Amount:  $125,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration: 1993 - 1998
Status:  Completed

Title: Roles of Regulatory Volume Behavior in Maintenance of Ocular Health
Amount: $20,000/year
Source: Georgia Research Supplemental Support
Duration:1992 - 1994
Status: Completed

Title: Second Messenger Roles of cAMP and Ca2+ in Corneal Epithelium
Amount: $142,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration: 1986-1991
Status: Completed

Title: Supplement for Impedance Analysis
Amount:   $27,500
Source: National Eye Institute
Status: Completed

Title: Coupling Between Metabolism and Active Ion Transport/Cornea
Amount: $120,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration:1983 - 1986
Status:  Completed

Title: Basic Research Science Grant
Amount: $10,000                                                                       
Source:  Washington University
Duration: 1983
Status: Completed

Title:  DC Microelectrode Studies (Supplement)
Amount:  $13,211
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration: 1982
Status: Completed

Title: Coupling Between Metabolism/Active Ion Transport/Cornea
Amount: $105,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration: 1980 - 1983
Status: Completed

Title: Coupling Between Metabolism/Active Ion Transport in Cornea
Amount: $90,000/year
Source: National Institutes of Health
Duration: 1977-1980
Status: Completed

Title: Effects of Diuretics on Corneal Hydration and Transport
Amount: $75,000/year
Source: National Eye Institute
Duration: 1976
Status: Completed

Individual NEI Postdoctoral Fellowship: ($10,000/year) 1973-1976

Research Grant Submitted: R21 to NEI (Oct 1, 2005: Signaling Mechanisms Mediating Mouse Ccorneal Epithelial Healing; $275,000/2 years)

Lectures and Presentations

(Titles are listed for presentations in recent years)

  • XVII International Congress of Eye Research (ICER), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Dec 2006); Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 activation in corneal epithelial cells mediates a pro-inflammatory response.

  • University of Miami (June 2005); EGF mediated signaling in corneal epithelial cells.

  • New York Medical College (March 2005); TRP expression is required for the mitogenic response to EGF.

  • Kyoto University (December 2004); Dependence of corneal epithelial proliferation on PKC isoform expression.

  • Indiana University (March 2004); How does EGF mediate control of corneal epithelial cell migration?

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

Book Chapters and Review

Reinach, PS, Zhang, F. and Capo-Aponte, JE (2010) Encyclopedia of the Eye, Corneal epithelial ionic transport mechanisms, in press, Elsevier Press New York 

Reinach, PS, Pokorny, KS The corneal epithelium: Clinical relevance of cytokine-mediated responses to maintenance of corneal health. Arq.  Bras Oftalmol. 71: (6 Suppl):80-6. Review

Reinach, P.S., Capó-Aponte, J.E., Mergler, S., Pokorny, K.S. Roles of corneal epithelial transport mechanisms in mediating responses to cytokines and osmotic stress, in Ocular Transporters: In Ophthalmic Diseases and Drug Delivery, pp 17-47,eds. Tombran-Tink, J. and Barnstable, C.J., Humana Press, Totowa, NJ,

Papers in the Last Three years

Okada Y, Saika S, Shirai K, Yamanaka O, Kitano A, Wang Z, Yang H, Reinach P. JNK MAPK signaling contributes in vivo to injury-induced corneal epithelial migration. Ophthalmic Res. 2009;42(4):185-92.

Wang Z, Yang H, Zhang F, Pan Z, Capó-Aponte J, Reinach PS. (2009)Dependence of EGF-induced increases in corneal epithelial proliferation and migration on GSK-3 inactivation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 50(10):4828-35.

Akinci MA, Turner H, Taveras M, Barash A, Wang Z, Reinach P, Wolosin JM. (2009)Molecular profiling of conjunctival epithelial side-population stem cells: atypical cell surface markers and sources of a slow-cycling phenotype. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.  50(9):4162-72.

Okada Y, Senba E, Shirai K, Ueyama T, Reinach P, Saika S. (2008) Perturbed intraepithelial differentiation of corneal epithelium in c-Fos-null mice.Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2008 Jan-Feb;52(1):1-7.

Pan Z, Yang H, Mergler S, Liu H, Tachado SD, Zhang F, Kao WW, Koziel H, Pleyer U, Reinach PS (2008)  Dependence of regulatory volume decrease on transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) expression in human corneal epithelial cells. Cell Calcium. 44(4):374-85.

Kitano A, Saika S, Yamanaka O, Ikeda K, Okada Y, Shirai K, Reinach PS.(2007) Emodin suppression of ocular surface inflammatory reaction Invest. Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48 (11) 5013-22.

Capó-Aponte JE, Wang Z, Akinci MA, Wolosin JM, Pokorny KS, Iserovish P, Reinach PS (2007) Potassium-chloride cotransporter mediates cell cycle progression and proliferation of human corneal cells. Cell Cycle 6(21):2709-18

Zhang, F., Yang, H., Wang, Z., Mergler, S., Liu, H., Kawakita, T., Tachado, SD., Pan, Z., Capo-Aponte, JE, Pleyer, U., Koziel, H., Kao, WW, Reinach, PS (2007) Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 activation induces inflammatory cytokine release in corneal epithelium through MAPK signaling. J. Cell Physiology 213 (3): 730-9.

Pan, Z. Capo-Aponte, JE, Zhang, F., Wang, Z., Pokorny, KS, Reinach, PS (2007) Differential dependence of regulatory volume decrease behavior in rabbit corneal epithelial cells on MAPK superfamily activation. Exp. Eye Res. 84: 978-90.

Capó-Aponte, J.E., Wang, Z., Bildin, V., Iserovich, P., Pan, Z., Zhang, F., Pokorny, K.S., Reinach, P.S.(2007) Functional and molecular characterization of multiple K-Cl cotransporter isoforms in corneal epithelial cells. Exp. Eye Res. 84:1090-1103.

Capó-Aponte, J.E., Wang, Z., Bildin, V.N., Pokorny. K.S., Reinach, P.S. (2007).  Fate of hypertonicity-stressed corneal epithelial cells depends on differential MAPK activation and p38MAPK/Na-K-2Cl cotransporter1 interaction. Exp. Eye Res. 84(2):361-372. 

Wang, Z., Yang, H., Tachado, S.D., Capó-Aponte, J.E., Bildin, V.N., Koziel, H., Reinach, P.S. (2006). Phosphatase-induced MAPK crosstalk mediates control of corneal epithelial cell migration. Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 47(12):5267-5275.

Du, J., Zhang, F. Capó-Aponte, J.E., Tachado, S.D., Zhang, J., Yu, F.S., Koziel, H., Sack, R., Reinach, P.S. (2006). AsialoGM1 mediated IL-8 release by human corneal epithelial cells requires coexpression of TLR5. Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 47(11): 4810-4818,

Kitano, A., Saika, S., Yamanaka, O., Ikeda, K., Reinach, P.S., Nakajima, Y., Okada, Y., Shirai, K., Ohnishi, Y. (2006). Genipin suppresses subconjuntival fibroblast migration, proliferation and myofibroblast transdifferentiation. Ophthalmic Res. 38(6): 355-60.

Kitano, A., Saika, S., Yamanaka, O., Reinach, P.S., Ikeda, K., Okada, Y., Shirai, K., Ohnishi, Y. (2006). Genipin suppression of fibrogenic behaviors of the alpha-TN4 lens epithelial cell line. J. Cataract Refract. Surg. 32(10): 1727-1735.

Lu, J., Lu, Z., Reinach, P.S., Zhang, J., Dai, W., Lu, L., Xu, M. (2006). TGF-beta2 inhibits AKT activation and FGF-2-induced corneal endothelial cell proliferation. Exp. Cell Res. 312(18): 3631-3640.

Zhang, F., Wen, Q., Mergler, S. Yang, H., Wang, Z. Bildin, V.N., Reinach, P.S. (2006). PKC isoforms-specific enhancement of capacitative calcium entry in human corneal epithelial cells. Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 47(9): 3989-4000.

Zhuang Z.H., Sun, L., Kong, L., Yu, MC, Reinach, P., Zang Z.W., Ge, B.X. (2006). Drosophila TAB2 is required for immune activation of JNK and NF-Kappa B. Cell Signal. 964-970.

Wang L, Reinach P, Lu L (2005). TNF-a promotes cell survival through stimulation of K+ channel and NFKB activity in corneal epithelial cells.  Exper Cell Res 311:39-48.

Capo-Aponte JE Iserovich P, Reinach PS (2005). Characterization of Regulatory Volume Behavior by Fluorescence Quenching in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Journal Membrane Biology 207:11-22.

Yang H, Mergler S, Sun X, Wang Z, Lu L, Bonanno JA, Pleyer U, Reinach PS (2005).  TRPC4 Knockdown Suppresses Epidermal Growth Factor-induced Store-operated Channel Activation and Growth in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. J Biol Chem. Sep 16;280(37):32230-7. Epub 2005 Jul 20.

Mergler S, Pleyer U, Reinach P, Bednarz J, Dannowski H, Engelmann K,Hartmann C, Yousif T.   (2005) EGF suppresses hydrogen peroxide induced Ca2+ influx by inhibiting L-type channel activity in cultured human corneal endothelial cells. Exp Eye Res. Feb;80(2):285-93.

Yuan Z, Reinach P, Yuan J.  Contrast sensitivity and color vision with a yellow intraocular lens. Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Jul;138(1):138-40.

Shao C, Sima J, Zhang SX, Jin J, Reinach P, Wang Z, Ma JX (2004). Suppression of corneal neovascularization by PEDF release from human amniotic membranes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. Jun;45(6):1758-62.

Al-Nakkash, L, Iserovich, P., Coca-Prados, M., Yang, H., Reinach, PS (2004): Functional and molecular characterization of a volume-activated chloride channel in rabbit corneal epithelial cells. J. Membr. Biol. 201: 1-9.

Representative Publications out of 101

Iserovich P, Yiming M, Wang Z, Bildin VN, Reinach PS, Fischbarg J.  Epidermal growth factor stimulates fluid transport in SV40 transformed rabbit lacrimal gland cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002;506(Pt A):243-7.

Mohri M, Reinach PS, Kanayama A, Shimizu M, Moskovitz J, Hisatsune T,Miyamoto Y.  Suppression of the TNFalpha-induced increase in IL-1alpha expression by hypochlorite in human corneal epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Oct;43(10):3190-5.

Shioda R, Reinach PS, Hisatsune T, Miyamoto Y. Osmosensitive taurine transporter expression and activity in human corneal epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Sep;43(9):2916-22.

Iservoch, P, Yiming, M, Wang, Bildin, VN, Reinach, PS, Fischgarg, J.  Epidrmal gowth factor stimulates fluid transport in SV40 transformed rabbit lacrimal gland cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002:506(PtA):243-7.

Kang, SS, Wang L, Kao, W.-Y, Reinach, PS, Luo, L. (2001): Control of SV40-transformed RCE cell proliferation by growth factor-induced cell cycle progression. Current Eye Res. 6:397-405.

Bildin, VN, Iserovich, Fischbarg, J, Reinach, PS. (2001): Differential expression of Na:K:2Cl co transporter, glucose transporter 1 and aquaproin 1 in freshly isolated and cultured bovine corneal tissues.  Exp. Biol. Med. 226 919-26.

Miyasaka, T, Kaminogawa, S, Shimizu, M, hisatsune, T, Reinach, PS Miyamoto, Y. (2001): Characterization of human taurine transporter expressed in insect cells using a recombinant biculovirus. Protein Expr. Purif. 23:389-97.

Yang, H, Wang, Z, Miyamoto Y, Reinach, PS. (2001):  Cell signaling pathways mediating epidermal growth factor stimulation of Na:K:2Cl contransport activity in rabbit corneal epithelial cells. J Membr. Biol 183(2): 93-101.

Al-Nakkash L, Reinach, PS.(2001):  Activation of a CFTR-mediated chloride current in a rabbit corneal epithelial cell line. Invest Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 42(10):2364-70.

Lu, L, Reinach, PS, Kao, WW. (2001):  Corneal epithelial wound healing. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 226(7):653-64. Review.

Kitanishi, K, Harino, S, Suzuki, M, Okamoto, N, Reinach, PS. (2001):  Liposomal prostaglandin E1 enhances optic nerve head blood flow in cats. J Ocular Pharmacol Ther. 17(2):115-22.

Kuang, K, Li, Y. Wen, Q, Wang, Z, Li, J, Yang, Y, Iserovich, P, Reinach, PS, Sparrow, J, Diecke, FP, Fischbarg, J. (2001):  Corneal endothelial NKCC: molecular identification, location, and contribution to fluid transport. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 280(3):C491-9.

Reinach, PS, Li, T, Lu, L. (2001):  Okadaic acid suppresses TPA-induced differentiation by stimulating G1/S transition in human myeloblastic leukaemia ML-1 cells. Cell Prolif. 33(4):189-202.

Bildin, VN, Yang, H. Crook, RB, Fischbarg, J. and Reinach, PS. (2000) Adaptation by corneal epithelial cells to chronic hypertonic stress depends on upregulation of Na:K: 2Cl cotransporter gene and protein expression and ion transport activity.  J. Membrane Biol. 177:41-50.

Kang, SS, li, T, Xu, D, Reinach, PS, and Lu, L. (2000) Inhibitory effect of PGE2 on EGF-induced MAP Kinase activity and rabbit corneal epithelial proliferation.  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 41:2164 -2169.

Yang, H, Reinach, PS, Koniarek, JP, Wang, T, Iserovich, P. and Fischbarg, J. (2000) Fluid transport by cultured corneal epithelial cell layers Br. J. Ophthalmol. 84:199-204.

Hara, E, Reinach, PS, Iservoch, P and Fischbarg, J, (1999). Fluxoxetine inhibits (K(+)efflux, Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) contransport, and Na(+) pump) underlying volume regulation in corneal endothelial cells J. Membrane Biol. 17(1):75-85.

Harino, S, Nishimura, K, Kitanishi, K, Suzuki, M, and Reinach, PS, (1999) Role of nitric oxide in mediating retinal blood flow regulation in cats. J. Ocular Pharmacol. 15(4):295-303.

Wu, X. Torres-Zamorano, V, Yang, H, and Reinach PS. (1998) ETA receptor mediated inhibition of intracellular pH regulation in cats bovine corneal epithelial cells. Exp. Eye Res. 66(6):699-708.

Iserovich, P, Reinach, P, Yang, H, and Fischbarg, J. (1998) A novel approach to resolve cellular volume responses to an anisotonic challenge.  Adv in Exp. Med Biol. 438:687-92.

Bildin, VN, Yang, H, Fischbarg, J and Reinach, PS, (1998) Effects of chronic hypertonic stress on regulatory volume increase and Na-K-2Cl cotransporter expression in cultured corneal epithelial cells.  Adv. in Exp. Biol. and Med. 436:637-642.

Wu, X, Yang, H, Fischbarg, J. and Reinach, P. (1997): Regulatory volume decrease by SV40-transformed rabbit corneal epithelial cells requires ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+-induced Ca2+release.  J. Membrane Biology 15:158(2):127-136.

Tao, W, Wu, X, Liou, G, Abney, TO and Reinach, PS. (1997): Endothelin receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling and isoform expression in bovine corneal epithelial cells Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 38(1):130-41.

Takashima, Y, Takagi, H, T. Takahashi, M, Reinach, PS, Mircheff, AK, Warren, DW, and Yoshimura, N. (1996): Endothelin protein expression in tear glands of the rabbit Current Eye Res. 15(7):768-73.   
Nishimura, K, Riva, CE, Reinach, P, Mita, S. (1996): Effects of endothelin-1 on optic nerve head blood flow in cats. J. Ocular Pharmacol Ther. 2:75-83.

Socci, RR, Tachado, SD, Aronstam, RS, Reinach, PS. (1996): Characterization of muscarinic receptor subtypes in bovine corneal epithelial cells.  J. Ocular Pharm and Therapeutics 12: 259-69.

Tao, W, Liou, GI, Wu, X, Abney, TO, Reinach, PS. (1995): ETB and epidermal growth factor receptor stimulation of wound closure in bovine corneal epithelial cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 36:2614-2622.


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