Since 1986, the Uveitis Research and Clinical Unit is under the direction of Dr. Jean Deschênes, MD, FRCSC. The unit has attracted clinicians and researchers from around the world. Our mission of consultation, education and research has evolved in training many Ocular Immunologists, Uveitis Sub-specialists and Researchers in Canada, Europe, Central, North and South America and the Middle East.
Our research and clinical unit is involved in the understanding of the immunology of uveitis, medical and surgical therapy of uveitis including Clinical Trials, Newer treatment like biologics agents and monoclonal antibodies.
The eye is an immunologically privileged site and our researches have shown specific molecular mechanisms for this process. Our research is aimed at understanding why does intraocular tolerance fail in uveitis, what immune mechanisms initiate and drive the inflammatory response and what can we do about it?
Our studies of uveitis are currently addressing the roles of a number of potentially harmful immune cell subsets. For many years, we have been collecting fluid from the front of the eye of patients with uveitis and comparing them to the cells we find in their peripheral blood, as well the blood of healthy individuals.
We have published that the microenvironment in the eye suppresses the function of a key population of immune cells involved in the initiation of immune responses. We have also shown that the ocular fluids suppress the function of immuno-regulatory cells.
We have several ongoing studies of novel approaches in the treatment of severe ocular inflammation and clinical trials for new therapies for intraocular inflammation and uveitis.