Dr. Robert L. McKown
Feasibility of a Canine Study for Tear Lacritin as a Treatment for Dry Eye
Robert L. McKown, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University with collaborators Ian P. Herring, DVM, MS, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, Department of Small Animal Clinical Studies, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and Gordon W. Laurie, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology, UVA.
This project will create a new collaboration with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech to investigate the feasibility of using a canine model animal system to study the physiology of ocular lacritin and potentially treat canine dry eye disorders. The specific objective of the first phase of this effort and the focus of this proposal is to ask the question if established reagents that we have previously created can detect and quantify canine tear lacritin in healthy animals. If successful, a second phase would then analyze canine tear lacritin in a dry eye clinical study. If lacritin is found to be deficient in part or all of the population, then topical application of lacritin could be advanced as a replacement therapy for canine dry eye. The safe and effective use of lacritin for treatment of dry eye in an animal model system would help advance development of this drug into human clinical trials.