Eric Pearlman, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 109
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-1856 Fax: (216) 368-3171
Research Focus: Microbial keratitis
Dr. Pearlman is working on fungal and bacterial infections, which cause severe visual impairment and blindness. The common filamentous soil fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Fusarium species are major causes of trauma related disease worldwide, and Fusarium was responsible for a recent outbreak of contact lens associated corneal infections in the USA. Fungal hyphae are extremely invasive, and penetrate the corneal stroma, invade the anterior chamber, and may even cause systemic disease. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is also a major cause of microbial keratitis worldwide. Dr Pearlman’s laboratory focuses primarily on the role of pathogen recognition receptors in regulating corneal infections caused by these organisms. His studies focus on the family of Toll Like Receptors, which play a critical role in regulating bacteria, and C-type lectins such as Dectin-1, that recognize fungal cell wall components. These studies examine infected individuals in southern India, in addition to animal models of infection. The long-term goal of these projects is to identify critical mediators of pathogenesis, and use this knowledge to develop novel targets for therapeutic intervention.